Roger Federer ‘highly unlikely’ to make Australian Open comeback with more doubts raised

Roger Federer to miss US Open and undergo knee surgery

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Roger Federer is likely to miss out on the 2022 Australian Open, according to a former professional. The Swiss tennis star announced in August he would be away from the court for “many months” after making the decision to undergo a third knee surgery in 18 months, and there are now huge doubts he will be back in time for the first Grand Slam of next year.

Federer has played just five tournaments since cutting his 2019 season short due to an ongoing knee injury.

The former world No 1 halted his season before tennis was suspended for the pandemic after making the decision to have right knee surgery, and later announced he would not be playing all year after having a second procedure.

More than a year after his last match in the 2020 Australian Open semi-final, Federer made a return to competition at the Doha ATP 250 back in March.

Having won ten matches across five tournaments – including Roland Garros and Wimbledon – the 40-year-old then skipped the Olympics and US Open as he announced he was undergoing a third surgery on the same knee.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion has previously been able to make a successful return after ending his season early to recover from an ongoing injury.

Back in 2016, Federer did not play a match after losing the Wimbledon semi-final to Milos Raonic after aggravating another knee injury, and had the best comeback possible when he won the Australian Open upon his comeback in 2017.

He then went on to lose just five matches all year as he won six more titles, including Wimbledon, and started his 2018 season by successfully defending his Australian Open title before returning to the top spot in the rankings just weeks later.

However, it seems Federer will be unable to recreate his comeback heroics in Melbourne after struggling with his knee once again, as the current world No 9 is in doubt to play the Australian Open in two months’ time.

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Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge admitted that he didn’t think fans would see the Swiss star Down Under in January.

“Highly unlikely,” he said when speaking about Federer’s chances of winning a 21st Major title on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports’ radio.

“If he were to win one, I think the only one that he would be able to get through is Wimbledon.

“He’s had another knee surgery… he’s not going to be out on the court for a while.”

Ruling the 40-year-old out of the upcoming Australian Open, Woodbridge also doubted his credentials at next year’s French Open.

He continued: “I don’t think we’re going to see him in Australia [in 2022]. He’s not going to win at the French Open, and he’s 40 years of age.”

“I think Roger’s going to come out and play some nice matches, but winning seven matches to win a slam, I don’t think we’re going to see that.”

Having branded the last 12 months as a “really interesting period and a change over for tennis,” the hugely-successful former doubles player also cast doubts over Serena Williams’ chances of winning another Grand Slam title, but had more hope for her over Federer.

“You can probably throw Serena Williams in that very similar situation,” he said.

“But Serena is more likely [to win another Grand Slam] I feel than Roger.”
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