Roger Federer is expected to sit out the remainder of the 2020 tennis season due to a setback in his return from February right knee surgery.
“A few weeks ago, having experienced a setback during my initial rehabilitation, I had to have an additional quick arthroscopic procedure on my right knee,” was tweeted from Federer’s account. “Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100% ready to play at my highest level. I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly but, I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season.”
Federer, who turns 39 on Aug. 8, would go nearly one year between tournaments, the longest break of a career that’s included a male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles.
Rafael Nadal is at 19 Grand Slams and could pass Federer if he wins the U.S. Open and French Open in September, assuming those tournaments are held amid coronavirus concerns. Novak Djokovic has 17 Grand Slams.
Federer underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery on Feb. 19 following pain that bothered him “for a little while.” He was expected to miss three months, but then the pandemic wiped out tennis through July.
Federer had been relatively healthy the previous three years, since missing the Rio Olympics and 2016 U.S. Open due to a left knee injury. He had undergone arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in February 2016.
Last year, Federer played the French Open for the first time since 2015, a sign that he was feeling very fit.
He played one tournament in 2020, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open. He was swept by Novak Djokovic and said after that he went into the match believing he had a three percent chance to win coming off a groin muscle injury.
Federer is still likely to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, either by being ranked in the top 56 after the 2021 French Open (and among the top four Swiss) or by taking the one wild card place available for a past Olympic gold medalist or Grand Slam singles champion with priority given to the player with the most titles.
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