Certainly not the news this author wanted to hear as an unabashed Roger Federer fan.
Federer has confirmed he will undergo further knee surgery and has admitted it will sideline him for sometime. From an Australian perspective that pretty much closes the door to seeing him in person on our shores for one last time and that certainly leaves a Federer fan a little flat.
The big picture is now starting to confront arguably the greatest of all time that he may not play again.
“I will be on crutches for many weeks and out of the game for many months,” 20-time Grand Slam title winner Federer said in a video posted on his Instagram account.
The decision immediately rules him out of the US Open, where he has been champion five times and which starts in two weeks.
“I’ve been doing a lot of checks with the doctors on my knee ... I hurt myself further during the grass-court season and it’s just not the way to go forward,” Federer added.
“They told me ... to feel better I’ll need surgery. I decided to do it.
“I want to give myself a glimmer of hope to return to the tour in some shape or form.
“I am realistic, don’t get me wrong. I know how difficult it is at my age to go through another surgery. I will try it. I want to be healthy, I want to be running around.”
Federer, who has played just 13 matches in 2021, underwent two knee surgeries in 2020 when he played only six times. He had already withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics to rest his knee.
After turning 40 last weekend, Federer said he was learning to adjust to the fact that recovering from niggles takes two weeks rather than two days.
“It was different before. The questions were simple: what is my place in the ranking? What will my next tournament be?” he told Blick newspaper.
“Today, it’s more difficult: how do I feel when I start training again? What are my goals? How to reconcile all this with the family? What does the rest of the team say?
“I am much more enthusiastic than before, the attitude is different. It’s really completely different from 10 years ago.”
We can only hope the glimmer of hope can somehow turn into an on court Federer farewell rather just bowing out of the sport unable to compete again. His Wimbledon exit this year is not the last memory we want to have of the 20 time major champion.
Listen to The First Serve, tonight at 7pm AEST on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / replayed at 8pm AEST on 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
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