Roger Federer

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Wimbledon canceled for first time since World War II; ATP, WTA suspended until mid-July

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The Championships, the official name of the tennis Grand Slam known around the world as Wimbledon, will not be held in 2020.

“It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” the All England Tennis Club announced Wednesday. “The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.”

Organizers expect Britain’s measures to combat the spread of the virus for many months. The supplies and services needed to put on the tournament would not be available at any other point in the summer, ruling out a postponement until later in the year, organizers said.

Also on Wednesday, the ATP Tour announced that the suspension of the ATP and WTA tours would continue until July 13, the day after Wimbledon was supposed to end. The tennis competition at the Olympics was scheduled to start July 24.

The French Open has been postponed until late September. The USTA said Wednesday that the U.S. Open is still expected to be held on its scheduled time frame of Aug. 24 to Sept. 13.

Wimbledon started in 1877 has been held every year except during World War I and World War II.

Roger Federer, who has been dealing with a right knee injury that would have kept him out of action for the next couple of months even if tournaments were going forward, reacted with one simple word: “Devastated.”

Federer has not yet announced his retirement despite some April Fools Day-inspired pieces around the Internet on Wednesday.

Defending women’s champion Simona Halep was quick to share her thoughts as well: “(W)e are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back!”

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Roger Federer has surgery, out through French Open

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Roger Federer will be out three months, through the French Open, following surgery after right knee pain.

“My right knee has been bothering me for a little while,” was posted Thursday on his social media. “I hoped it would go away, but after an examination, and discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday.”

Federer, 38 and a record 20-time Grand Slam singles champion, will miss upcoming tournaments in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami, plus the French Open that starts in late May.

“I can’t wait to be back playing again soon, see you on the grass!” was posted.

By that timeline, Federer is not in danger of missing Wimbledon in June and July and the Tokyo Olympics in July and August.

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’s 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.

At this year’s French Open, Rafael Nadal will tie Federer’s male record for Grand Slam singles titles if the Spaniard can win Roland Garros for a record-extending 13th time.

MORE: Top U.S. tennis player leaning toward skipping Olympics

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Novak Djokovic ousts Roger Federer, makes Australian Open final

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Novak Djokovic swept a less-than-100-percent Roger Federer 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-3 to reach the Australian Open final on Thursday. After, Federer said he went into the match believing he had a three percent chance to win coming off a groin muscle injury.

Djokovic will face Friday’s winner between Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final, seeking his record-extending eighth Australian Open title. Djokovic owns 16 major titles overall and can move within three of Federer’s male record total of 20. Rafael Nadal has 19.

Saturday’s women’s final pits American Sofia Kenin against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza. More on their matchup here.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women

Against Federer, Djokovic battled back from a 1-4, love-40 deficit on his serve in the first set to keep his record perfect in semifinals and finals at the Australian Open, his most successful Grand Slam.

“It could have definitely gone a different way if he wins one of those break points,” Djokovic said. “He started off really well. I was pretty nervous at the beginning. I just want to say respect to Roger for coming out tonight. He was obviously hurt and wasn’t at his best, even close to his best in terms of movement. Respect for him coming out and trying his best all the way through.”

Djokovic said in an-court interview that Federer was “obviously hurt.”

Federer had two five-set marathons in his previous three matches. He took a medical timeout with a groin muscle injury during a five-set quarterfinal win against American Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday.

He went for a scan later that night and didn’t practice Wednesday. He took another medical timeout against Djokovic but refused to retire from a match for the first time in a career of more than 1,500 matches.

“Nice entrance, nice sendoff, and in between is one to forget,” he said. “Once you can see it coming, that it’s not going to work anymore, it’s tough.

“I didn’t have any pain in the daily stuff. That was a positive sign.”

Federer said he believed he still has the ability to win a Grand Slam, which he last did at the 2018 Australian Open.

“Same as last year,” he said about his future outlook at age 38. “You never know what the future holds, especially at my age you don’t know. But I’m confident. I’m happy how I’m feeling, to be honest. Got through a good, nice training block. No plans to retire, so from that standpoint, we’ll see how the year goes and how everything is with the family, and we go from there. So, of course, I hope to be back [at the Australian Open].”

Djokovic, the No. 2 seed, improved to 27-23 in his head-to-head history with Federer, the No. 3 seed.

Thiem or Zverev will become the first man in the 1990s to play an Australian Open final. No man born in the 1990s has won a Grand Slam. Djokovic, Federer and Nadal combined to win the last 12.

“Dominic and Alexander Zverev are some of the best young players that play this game and definitely have high goals and ambitions, without a doubt, and definitely the potential to be there,” said Djokovic who lifted his first Grand Slam title at 20, then waited another three years until his second. “But I think one thing that I was probably lacking a little bit when I was younger was patience and trusting the process a little bit more.”

MORE: Top U.S. tennis player leaning toward skipping Olympics

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