Roger Federer will miss the Rio Olympics, and the rest of the 2016 season, due to a knee injury, he announced Tuesday via Facebook.
“I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year,” he wrote. “The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover.”
The 17-time Grand Slam winner, who’s ranked No. 3 in the world, underwent the first surgery of his career in February after tearing cartilage in his knee. He tweaked the knee while drawing a bath for his twin daughters, “a very simple movement, probably a movement I’ve done a million times,” he said later.
Federer was forced to skip the French Open, which began in May, marking the first Grand Slam he’d missed since 2000. He returned for Wimbledon earlier this month and lost to Milos Raonic in the semifinals, but hasn’t played since. He took an awkward fall during that match, and was unsure afterward how extensively he might have been injured.
“The silver lining is that this experience has made me realize how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries,” Federer wrote Tuesday.
In Rio, Federer was looking to secure his first Olympic singles gold medal, one of the few pieces missing from his extensive collection of titles. He took silver at the London Games, falling to Andy Murray in the final.
Federer made his Olympic debut for Switzerland as a 19-year-old at the 2000 Sydney Games, where he placed fourth in singles. He was 17th in 2004 and fifth in 2008. At the ’08 Beijing Games, however, he captured the men’s doubles gold medal with Stan Wawrinka. He was planning to again compete with Wawrinka in Rio, as well as in mixed doubles with Martina Hingis.
Federer turns 35 on Aug. 8, meaning he’d be 38/39 if he opted to compete at the next Olympics in Tokyo, which are scheduled to begin July, 24, 2020.