Veteran Roger Federer has confirmed he will miss the Australian Open as he continues to recover from surgery while hinting Wimbledon might come too soon.
Federer hasn’t been seen since losing in straight-sets to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in July.
The 40-year-old subsequently missed the US Open after undergoing multiple rounds of surgery on his knee and admits he would be “extremely surprised” to feature at Wimbledon in 2022.
He revealed that a light return to training is on the cards for January, ruling out his involvement at the Australian Open, and he hopes to step up the intensity around “March or April”.
“I would be extremely surprised if I could play Wimbledon,” Federer told Swiss outlet Le Matin.
“I will be able to resume running quietly in January and resume sessions on the court with complex support in March or April.
“I therefore estimate my return to competition in the summer of 2022.
“I need to be very patient and give my knee the time to heal. The next few months will be crucial.”
Federer also laid out a desire to return to the top level as he hopes to add to his 20 Grand Slam titles and insists he will retire on his own terms.
He added: “My ambition is to see what I’m capable of one last time.
“I also wish I can say goodbye in my own way and on a tennis court. That’s why I give my all in my rehabilitation.
“It would be the ultimate dream to go back. And I still believe in it. I believe in these kinds of miracles.”
Novak Djokovic is the 6/4 favourite to win the Australian Open for a fourth successive edition and 10th time in total, while Daniil Medvedev, who lost to the Serbian in this year’s final, is priced at 3/1.