Roger Federer set to miss Wimbledon as star could have played final match at SW19

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Roger Federer has revealed he is ‘extremely unlikely’ to play at Wimbledon next year with uncertainty growing over his future. The tennis legend is recovering from his third knee surgery in the last 18 months and has not played since a straight-sets defeat in the last eight at SW19 in the summer.

Concerns are growing over how much longer Federer will play for, with the Swiss currently tied on 20 Grand Slam titles with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

However, the Swiss maestro has now provided an update of when he plans to return to the court, but it doesn’t appear to be anytime soon.

“I will be able to resume running quietly in January and resume sessions on the court with complex support in March or April,” he explained.

“I therefore estimate my return to competition in the summer of 2022.

“[I would be] extremely surprised to be able to play Wimbledon. This summer it was decided to suture the lesion to my meniscus, which involves some downtime.

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The doctors therefore took the opportunity to also treat my cartilage. The combination of these two interventions requires patience and prudence.”

A run to the semi-finals in Melbourne last year led to the knee injury which kept Federer out for more than 12 months, and this summer he reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon before his body let him down again in a loss to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

All this enforced time away from the court has led to ever-increasing speculation that the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be retiring soon, though Federer remains hopeful of a return to the tour in 2022. However, there are no guarantees he will compete on the glorious Wimbledon grass ever again.

And like any great champion, he wants to be able to call an end to his career on his own terms.

“For me, a perfect retirement does not exist,” Federer said.

“Of course, I wish to choose the moment of my retirement, and I’m convinced I will know when the time is right.”

When he does decide to hang up his racket, the former world number one says he won’t be afraid for what comes next.

“I’m not afraid of life after tennis; it will be quite a transition towards a more relaxed life,” Federer added.

“[His wife] Mirka and I have always found a perfect balance between tennis, family and friends.

“That is what gives me the most pride of my entire career because those are the most important things in life.”

Fellow tennis great Rafael Nadal is another whose future in the sport was in doubt for a time, after the Spaniard also ended his season early through a foot injury.

Nadal has already announced that he is hoping to return to the court in December, though, so he can prepare for the Australian Open in the New Year.

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