‘Roger Federer will most likely skip Australian Open, he can not risk,’ says Ljubicic

Roger Federer has played only 19 matches since the start of 2020, struggling with a knee injury and undergoing three surgeries. Roger had a great run in 2019, finishing third behind Nadal and Djokovic and preparing another strong season with the 2020 Australian Open semi-final. As it turned out, that was Roger’s last tournament for the next 13 months, experiencing a knee injury and undergoing surgeries in February and May. Federer returned to the practice court last October and was ready to compete again this March in Doha. The veteran entered five tournaments in 2021, winning nine out of 13 matches and advancing into the Wimbledon quarter-final as the oldest player in the Open era. Roger suffered a massive loss to Hubert Hurkacz and underwent third knee surgery that ended his season. Starting the rehabilitation once again at 40, Federer is eager to compete at some point in 2022 and fight for the trophies.

Still, the return will almost certainly come after the season’s first Major in Melbourne, and Roger’s coach Ivan Ljubicic confirmed that in a recent interview. Roger rushes nothing on his comeback road, and the Australian Open comes too early for him to play without risking another injury. Thus, the Swiss should miss the Australian Open for the second straight year, and we still remember his incredible run from January 2019. Federer prevailed over John Millman in the decider’s match tie break, trailing 8-4 before winning the last six points to cross the finish line first. Roger fended off seven match points in a thriller against Tennys Sandgren, surviving for a couple of more days before losing to Novak Djokovic 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 18 minutes in the semis.

Roger Federer will most likely skip the Australian Open next January.

It was the 50th ATP Tour match between two great rivals, and Novak scored the 27th triumph over Roger. Suffering a groin injury in that epic match with Sandgren two days earlier, the Swiss star gave his best to stand on level terms with a mighty opponent, hitting more winners than Novak but failing to take at least a set. Roger kicked off the action with a 4-1, 40-0 advantage, having a great chance of breaking Novak’s serve thrice in a row before the Serb survived in that game and gathered momentum. Djokovic erased the deficit and claimed the opener in the tie break to gain a boost. Novak lost 12 points on serve in sets two and three combined, never facing a break point and challenging Roger to repeat that to stay in contention, something the Swiss could not achieve on a given day.

“I think Roger’s chances of competing in Melbourne are very slim. He is still recovering, and, knowing him, he wants to be sure he can play to win the tournament and be at 100%. I think the Australian Open is not a real possibility right now. But he will go step by step because he is 40, and he needs to be patient. He can not recover as quickly as he used to,” Ivan Ljubicic said.

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