Federer to miss French Open after right knee surgery

Hannah Wilks:

Roger Federer will not compete at Indian Wells, Miami or Roland Garros after announcing that he has undergone surgery on his right knee.

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Federer was scheduled to return to action after the Australian Open at next week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships but has pulled out after surgery on his knee on Wednesday in Switzerland.

On Thursday morning, Federer revealed via social media that he had undergone arthroscopic surgery on a right knee injury.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion had a similar surgery on a left knee injury in 2016 after he tore his meniscus running a bath for his daughters.

Federer wrote:

‘My right knee has been bothering me for a little while. I hoped it would go away, but after an examination, and a discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday.

‘After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery.’

Federer confirmed that he will not be playing the next five events on his schedule, including the solitary clay-court tournament he was planning to play.

The 38-year-old has withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters, which begins on 12 March; the Miami Masters, which begins on 25 March; a scheduled exhibition in Bogota; and the French Open, which begins on 25 May.

Federer ended the statement on an optimistic note, confirming he intends to return for the grass-court season. Wimbledon begins on Monday 29 June – a little under five months from now.

‘I can’t wait to be back playing again soon, see you on the grass!’

This will be the fourth year in the last five that Federer has missed the French Open. The 2009 champion, who has finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal four times at the tournament, did not play Roland Garros in 2016-18 as he limited his schedule to prioritize the grass-court season.

He made a triumphant return in 2020, reaching the semifinals before losing to Nadal.

Federer in action at the 2019 French Open (Photo by ABACAPRESS.COM)

 

Federer is defending a total of 2,820 points at the events he is now scheduled to miss, after winning Dubai and Miami in 2019, finishing runner-up to Dominic Thiem at Indian Wells and reaching the semifinals of the French Open.

At January’s Australian Open, Federer struggled through some dramatic matches, coming back from the brink of defeat in a fifth-set tie-break against John Millman and saving seven match points against Tennys Sandgren, before succumbing in straight sets to Novak Djokovic at the semifinals. The Swiss star underwent treatment on a groin injury during the tournament.

Federer insisted afterwards he had no plans to retire, and there is precedent for optimism for his fans when contemplating his knee surgery. After undergoing a similar procedure in 2016 and taking six months off, Federer returned to snap a five-year Grand Slam drought at the 2017 Australian Open and went on to win two more majors to bring his total haul to 20.

His fans will be hoping for a similar resurgence when Federer returns after this latest hiatus.