Tennis Australia Chief Craig Tiley has revealed that Roger Federer has begun his pre-season training block in Dubai and is doing everything in his powers to make himself available for the Australian Open next year.
Roger Federer has begun his training block in Dubai, says Tennis Australia CEO
In a chat with The Age, Tiley revealed that he had been in touch with the 20-time Grand Slam champion and isn’t entirely ruling out his participation in the year’s first Major.
At an award show in Switzerland recently, Federer said that his recovery from a second knee surgery is still a work in progress and he could be facing a tight race to fitness even if the Australian Open is pushed back.
The start date of the event has since been postponed from January 19th to February 8th.
Federer had said a 3-week to start of Australian Open would help him
The Swiss, who holds 6 Australian Open titles, however, said that the deferment of the event would give him a 2-3 week window to work on his fitness and even make himself available for the Major.
Federer said he had hoped to regain full fitness by October, but his recovery is still behind schedule. He added that he is not willing to rush back into action and will return only when he feels ready.
Tiley said that Federer told him that February 8th would be a more agreeable date for him to play the Australian Open.
“He said to us that February 8 was a more suitable date for him in terms of preparing for the Australian Open,” the CEO of Tennis Australia said.
Tennis Australia CEO on Federer’s participation at Australian Open
However, on whether Federer will eventually decide to play the Australian Open, Tiley said it will depend largely on how his body holds during the training block.
“A lot will depend on how he responds to his surgery in the next two to three weeks,” the Aussie said.
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Federer’s last appearance at the Grand Slam was the Australian Open this year. The ‘Swiss Master’ made the semifinals of the Major before going down in straight sets to Serb Novak Djokovic.
Surgery and the extended rehabilitation thereafter ruled Federer out of all events post the Australian Open.