For many, watching Federer play tennis is akin to a religious experience. Few possess the athletic prowess and grace that the Swiss star has, and on the court he moves with precision, adding flourishes with the racquet that are extraordinary to witness. In recent months however, the Federer we’ve seen on court has been a markedly different man. This has been a man riddled with injury, plagued with soreness and woes regarding his knees. Now, Federer has announced he will miss the US Open and be sidelined for what could be “many months” due to a third operation on his right knee.
Taking to Instagram, Federer announced he will be “out of the game for many months.” His post read: “I’ve been doing a lot of checks with the doctors, as well, on my knee, getting all the information as I hurt myself further during the grass-court season and Wimbledon.” He added, “Unfortunately, they told me for the medium- to long-term, to feel better, I will need surgery, so I decided to do it. I will be on crutches for many weeks and then also out of the game for many months.”
At 40-years-old, most would expect Federer to have retired and since battling the injury, rumours of retirement have continued to swirl around the star. But by having the surgery, Federer seems hopeful that it will allow for his return to the Tour and, what one can only hope, will be pain-free playing. While Federer acknowledged that there was a chance his playing career could be over, he stressed that he would rehab the knee with the intention of making another comeback.
“I want to be healthy. I want to be running around later, as well, again, and I want to give myself a glimmer of hope, also, to return to the tour in some shape or form,” said Federer. “I am realistic, don’t get me wrong. I know how difficult it is at this age right now to do another surgery and try it.”
Federer first had surgery on his knee shortly after the 2020 Australia Open in February of last year, missing more than a year of action. There was a follow-up procedure that June that only delayed his return. While he returned to the French Open in late May, he pulled out of the tournament after three victories. At Wimbledon this year, he lost in the quarter-finals and cited the knee injury as a reason for withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics. While the road ahead is certainly going to be a difficult one for Federer, if anyone can make a comeback it’s him.