Roger Federer will not be on a tennis court anytime soon, and at this point he’s just hoping to be able to return to competition.
The 40-year-old Swiss star said in an Instagram post that he had knee surgery and will be “out of the game for many months.” That means he will miss the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 30.
Federer added that by getting the procedure, the third on his right knee, he is hoping to “give myself a glimmer of hope” to return to the tour.
“I am realistic, don’t get me wrong,” Federer said in the post. “I know how difficult it is at this age right now to do another surgery and try it, but look, I want to be healthy and I’ll go through the rehab process also with a goal while I’m still active, which I think is going to help me during this long period of time.”
He began 2021 by withdrawing from the Australian Open as he was working his way back from the knee surgery he underwent after the 2020 Australian Open. Federer left the French Open early as he continued to deal with knee troubles. The last time Federer was on the court, he fell in a straight-set upset to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. He said he would not compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics because of a setback in his return from the 2020 surgery.
Federer is tied with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for most Grand Slam men’s singles titles (20). Djokovic is 34 and Nadal is 35. Federer has not won a Grand Slam title since the 2018 Australian Open.
The road back to the court — let alone another Grand Slam win — won’t be easy. His 2018 Australian Open win made him the second-oldest male tennis player to win a title, behind only Ken Rosewall, who captured the 1972 Australian Open at 37.