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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, November 17, 2021


"I need to be very patient and give my knee the time to heal. The next few months will be crucial," Roger Federer said.

Photo credit: Getty

Roger Federer dreams of regaining his health and returning to the pro tour.

The 2022 Australian Open won't be part of his comeback vision.

Ljubcic: Federer Unlikely to Play 2022 Australian Open

The 40-year-old Swiss superstar confirmed he will not play the Australian Open—and revealed he would be "extremely surprised" to return in time for the 2022 Wimbledon.

Confirming comments his coach, Ivan Ljubicic, made earlier this week, Federer told Swiss publication Le Matin he won't be competing in Melbourne as he continues recovery from his surgically-repaired right knee.

"I need to be very patient and give my knee the time to heal. The next few months will be crucial," said Federer, who has undergone a total of four knee surgeries that have limited him to 19 matches over the past two seasons.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion said patience is a prerequisite for a 2022 comeback. Federer said he hopes to resume running in January and aims to return to the practice court next spring.

"I want to see one last time if I am able to play tennis professionally," Federer told Le Matin.

Former world No. 3 Ljubicic said earlier this week it was doubtful Federer would recover in time for the Australian Open, which starts on January 17th. Federer's comments suggest any comeback likely will not happen until the second half of the 2022 season.

"I think there are very few chances, he is still recovering and knowing him, he wants to be sure he can play to win the tournament and be at 100 percent,"  Ljubcic told Stats Perform in comments published by Reuters. "So I think the Australian Open is not a real possibility right now.

"But he will go step by step because he is 40 years old now and he needs to be patient. He cannot recover as quickly as he used to."

Last July, Federer deployed variety defeating Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 to become the oldest Wimbledon men's quarterfinalist in Open era history. One round later, Hubert Hurkacz swept a flat Federer 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-0 storming into his first Grand Slam semifinal.

The former world No. 1 was bageled for the first time at SW19 suffering his first Wimbledon straight-sets loss since he bowed to Mario Ancic in the 2002 first round.

The capacity Centre Court crowd stood and saluted the eight-time Wimbledon champion with a rousing extended ovation as Federer waved in an emotional exit after enduring just his third straight-sets loss in 119 career Wimbledon matches.

Asked afterward if it was his final farewell to Wimbledon, Federer said he was unsure.

"I don't know. I really don't know," Federer said. "I got to regroup. My goal was always for the last year and more to always try to play another Wimbledon. The initial goal, like you know, was to play last year. That was anyway never going to happen. Plus the pandemic hit. I was able to make it this year, which I'm really happy about...

"Obviously we're going to speak a little bit tonight, depending on how I feel, then the next couple of days as well. Then we go from there. Just see, Okay, what do I need to do to get in better shape so I can be more competitive."


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