In a sad day for tennis, Roger Federer has withdrawn from the US Open to undergo a third surgery on his right knee.
In a video posted to Instagram, the Swiss Maestro said there is no assurance as to when, or even if, he’ll make his return.
The 40-year-old tennis great suffered a setback after his run to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.
“I want to give myself a glimmer of hope to return to the tour in some shape or form,’’ Federer said. “I am realistic. Don’t get me wrong. I know how difficult it is at this age to do another surgery and try it. But I want to be healthy and I’ll go through the rehab process.”
Federer said it will be months before he’ll even consider returning.
“As you can imagine it’s not been simple,’’ Federer said. “I’ve been doing a lot of checks with doctors on my knee, getting all the information as I hurt myself further in the grass court season and Wimbledon. It’s not the way to go forward. Unfortunately for the medium to long-term to feel better, I will need surgery.’’
“I’ll be on crutches for many weeks and out of the game for many months,’’ Federer added. “It will be difficult but I know it’s the right thing to do. ‘’
Tennis sources believe Federer planned his last pro event to be at Wimbledon, so his withdrawal at the US Open means he may never again compete at Flushing Meadows.
Federer is tied with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal for the most men’s Grand Slam titles (20), but many observers still regard him as the most artistic player of all time.
Djokovic is looking to set the new record for most majors when the Open begins Aug. 30. He’s also shooting for the Grand Slam (winning all four majors in a calendar year).
A gentleman and the sport’s top ambassador, Federer may not want to hang on if he feels he can’t pull off another Slam title.
“We hope that he’s able to play as long as he wants to play,’’ John McEnroe told The Post before Wimbledon. “He’s sort of like our Tom Brady. You look at these older guys, they’re inspiring people like Roger certainly.’’
At Wimbledon, Federer was rolling along until getting dismantled in straight sets by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who bageled Federer, 6-0, in the third set.
Soon after the upset, Federer revealed he had sustained a setback with his knee. He recently withdrew from the final Open tuneup in Cincinnati, leading to speculation that he would have to skip Flushing Meadows.
Because of knee issues, missed the fan-less Open last August. His last Open match came in 2019 when he was upset in the quarterfinals by Grigor Dimitrov.
Federer won five straight Opens from 2004 to 2008 and it was once thought his 20 majors was unreachable. But Federer has particularly struggled in Queens, as he hasn’t won in Flushing Meadows since 2008.
A turning point came when Federer blew a two-sets-to-one lead to Juan-Martin del Potro in the 2009 Finals. He’s never seemed the same on these courts since.
In an odd twist considering their great rivalry, Federer and Nadal never played each other at the US Open.
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