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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, December 27, 2020

 
Roger Federer

Roger Federer's streak of 21 straight Australian Open appearances will end as the 20-time Grand Slam champion will miss the Melbourne major in February.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Roger Federer is out of the Australian Open.

Continuing his rehab from right knee surgery, the 20-time Grand Slam champion won't make the trip to Melbourne.

More: Murray Receives AO Wild Card

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley announced Federer has withdrawn from the 2021 AO.

“In the end Roger ran out of time to get himself ready for the rigors of a Grand Slam and he’s very disappointed he won’t be coming to Melbourne in 2021," Tiley said in a statement. “The Australian Open has always held a special place in his heart
remember it was Roger who first called the AO the ‘happy slam’.

“We wish him all the best as he prepares for his comeback later in the year and look forward to seeing him in Melbourne in 2022.”

Federer's agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed the 39-year-old Swiss will miss the 2021 Australian Open—and revealed he is considering returning to action in late February—in an email statement to the Associated Press.

Tennis Express

The decision ends Federer's streak of 21 consecutive Australian Open appearances and means the father of two sets of twins won't be spending a 14-day quarantine down under.

A six-time Australian Open champion, Federer won his last major championship at the 2018 Melbourne major.

''Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open," Godsick wrote in an email to the AP. "He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness.

"However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open."



Federer underwent an initital right knee surgery last February then had a second surgery on the same knee last June.

At the Swiss Sports Awards two weeks ago, the Swiss superstar called his next three months of rehab "crucial" to his 2021 season, which he hopes will feature at least two Grand Slam appearances. 

"I hope I will return to the courts in 2021. We'll see, but if my career were to end there, it would be amazing to end it with this award." Federer at the Swiss Sports Awards. "I wish I was ahead of my schedule, but I'm still happy to be where I'm at right now.

"The operation in June was a real blow. But since that [surgery], I feel I have come a long way. I'll give myself more time before I decide. The next three months are going to be crucial for me."

Godsick said Federer is considering tournaments as he begins to build his 2021 schedule.

''I will start discussions this coming week for tournaments that begin in late February and then start to build a schedule for the rest of the year,'' Godsick told the AP.

On a day in which the Australian Open lost one former world No. 1 from the field, it gained another.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley announced the tournament has awarded a wild card to three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray.

Eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer said a couple of weeks ago his surgically-repaired right knee is not yet ready for the rigors of Grand Slam play.

"I'd love to be in Australia, but it'll be very fair to my knee," Federer said. "I had hoped to be 100 percent of my means as early as October, but unfortunately this was not the case and it is still not the case today. I don't want to take the next step until I'm ready. I won't play again until I feel 100 percent...

"My goals are in the summer, with Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open."

The Australian Open, originally scheduled for January 18th, is rescheduled for February 8th-21st.

 

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