Giving voice to what many fear, doubles legend Todd Woodridge has said that Roger Federer may well have played his last Australian Open in 2020.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has withdrawn from next year’s first Major on grounds of fitness.
“A big disappointment for everyone”: Todd Woodbridge on Roger Federer’s Australian Open pullout
Next year will mark the first time that Federer won’t feature in the men’s singles draw at the Australian Open. It’s a huge disappointment for his fans as they had set their hopes on him returning at the Grand Slam that he has won six times.
And Woodbridge said he doesn’t see the Swiss playing the Australian Open in 2022 as he will have turned 40 by then.
Federer’s struggles with injuries aren’t going to magically go away as he turns a year older, and the Aussie reckons he might not even be around in the circuit by then.
In an interview to Australia’s Nine network, Woodbridge said, “It’s a big disappointment for everyone, including himself, and it quite possibly means we won’t see Roger competing in Australia again at a Grand Slam, which is a great loss.”
It’s a loss that was expected, but on Federer’s terms, says Woodbridge
He added that while it was expected that he would play his last Australian Open at some point in the not too distant future, he didn’t think it would come about the way it has.
“It’s a loss that was expected, but I think we all would have liked it to have come on his terms, and not by the way it’s come about,” Woodbridge said.
The Aussie, who finished his career with 16 Grand Slam titles along with his partner Mark Woodforde, said that fitness apart, the quarantine rules for the Australian Open could also have prompted Federer’s decision not to travel for the event.
Quarantine rules may have also prompted Federer’s decision, says Woodbridge
“The difficulty for him, I think, has been fitness obviously, but also quarantining. In the end, that was probably the tipping point that made him decide not to come,” Woodbridge said.
At an awards night in Switzerland some weeks back, Federer said he was unsure of competing at the Australian Open as his recovery from a second knee surgery this year was still behind schedule.
Though he was spotted training in Dubai recently, Federer possibly realized he wouldn’t regain full fitness even with a delayed start to the Australian Open.