Tennis

Roger Federer a doubt for Australian Open

Roger Federer said his recovery from two operations on his left knee earlier this year has taken longer than expected and he is unsure whether he will be ready for the Australian Open.

Federer, who turns 40 in August next year, has not played a competitive match since losing to Novak Djokovic in this season's semi-finals at Melbourne Park.

The winner of 20 Grand Slam singles titles, a record he shares with Rafael Nadal, said in October he was practising pain-free and expected to play in the first Grand Slam of 2021.

"I would have hoped that I would be 100 per cent in October. But I am still not today. It will be tight for the Australian Open," Swiss media quoted Federer as saying late on Sunday at an awards ceremony.

"The second knee operation was a huge damper but, in the last six months, there has been steady progress. Let's see how the next two months will unfold."

The Australian Open is scheduled for Jan 18-31, but there have been reports that it could be pushed back to a Feb 8-21 window due to Covid-19 protocols.

But even a three-week delay might not be enough for Federer, who added: "It's a race against time for the Australian Open. I'm curious to see whether it will start on Feb 8.

"Of course, it would help if I had a bit more time." - REUTERS

Tennis