'Mirka didn't approve': Huge twist in Roger Federer's Aus Open withdrawal

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Roger and Mirka Federer take photos as they arrive at the Wimbledon Champions Dinner 2017.
Mirka Federer (pictured left) was reportedly not keen on quarantine conditions in Australia, which came into reason for Roger Federer (pictured right) withdrawing from the Grand Slam. (Getty Images)

An Australian Open official has claimed Mirka Federer did not approve of the quarantine conditions ahead of the first Grand Slam, which was part of the reason Roger Federer withdrew from the main draw.

The Federer shocked fans when he announced he wouldn’t be travelling to Australia for the opening Grand Slam tournament of the year.

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The 39-year-old had warned it would be a ‘race against time’ for him to have recovered by the time the Australian Open came around, however it was hoped the delayed start to the tournament would give him extra time needed to prepare.

But Federer said he hadn’t recovered from a reoccurring knee injury, which prompted him to pull out of the remainder of the 2020 season - impacted by the coronavirus pandemic - after the same Grand Slam tournament.

But now, Andre Sa, Australian Open director of player relations, said he spoke to Federer and claimed one of the reasons why he didn’t want to come was due to his family and quarantine concerns.

The main reason was the quarantine,” Sa told Ace BandSports.

“I talked to him a month ago and he had two options. He could come with the whole family and quarantine.

“The problem is that Mirka (Federer’s wife) and her children couldn’t leave the room. They would have to stay 14 days in the room.

“The exception is only for players. He could go out, train, and come back, but the family couldn’t. Mirka did not approve the idea.”

Sa said the other option was for Federer to travel to Australia alone.

But this wasn’t part of the equation at Federer’s age.

“The other option would be for him to come alone. Only there would be at least five weeks away from family and children,” Sa said.

“And then he said, ‘Dude, 39, four kids, 20 Grand Slams. I am no longer in time to be away from my family for five weeks.'”

Mirka Federer, wife of Roger Federer with their children nine-year-old twin girls Charlene and Myla and five-year-old boys Lenny and Leo.
Mirka Federer, wife of Roger Federer with their children nine-year-old twin girls Charlene and Myla and five-year-old boys Lenny and Leo. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Djokovic, Nadal all but confirm Aus Open participation

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal headline the field at next month's ATP Cup in Melbourne, all but confirming their participation in the Australian Open.

A dozen countries, including Australia, who will be spearheaded by Alex de Minaur, will compete in the men's team tournament from February 1-5.

The inaugural event was played last year in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney and won by Djokovic's Serbia over Nadal's Spain, with the world's top two-ranked players squaring off in the final.

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