Roger Federer may have played his last Australian Open after the tennis legend revealed he's still months away from returning from his latest knee surgery.
Federer said on Saturday that he's "in a really good place" with his recovery from last month's knee surgery.
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However the 40-year-old revealed it's going to take a "few more months" to get back on the tennis court - making a return at the Australian Open in January appear unlikely.
Federer, who shares the all-time men's record of 20 major titles with Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, had two knee operations in 2020 that kept him out of the tour for more than a year.
He returned to action in March this year but injured the knee again during the grass court season and said he needed more surgery in order to resume playing.
"It was a tough process to take that decision, just because I already had couple of knee surgeries last year," Federer told Jim Courier in an interview at the Laver Cup on Saturday.
"I was really unhappy with how things went at Wimbledon. I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level.
"But I tried my best and at the end, at some point, too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step."
Federer reached the quarter-finals at the All England club but lost in straight sets to Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, failing to win a game in the third set.
The Swiss, who is a co-creator of the Laver Cup, made a late decision to travel to Boston for the fourth edition of the exhibition event featuring Team Europe and Team World, moving around on crutches.
"I've got to first walk again properly, run properly and then do the sidesteps and all the agility work and then eventually I've got to be back on the tennis court," he said.
"But it's going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year.
"I've got to take my time. I don't want to rush into anything at this point.
"This is also for my life. I want to make sure I can do everything I want to do later on.
"There's no rush with anything, so I'm actually in a really good place. I think the worst is behind me. I'm really happy."
Fans were left devastated to hear that Federer is unlikely to be back in time for the Australian Open.
I was hoping ti see him in the Australian Open. 😭😭😭
— Adelina Negri (@Mastaaaa2013) September 26, 2021
Most likely no, he could be back in Dubai or Indian wells though
— Stratos Gazis (@gazstratos) September 26, 2021
Yes of course. I was there in Geneva & I know what a wonderful tournament it can be with Federer around & I'm sure he wanted to experience that too. It's also just sad to see him on crutches..
— Zenia D'cunha (@ZENIADCUNHA) September 25, 2021
So sad…. Wishing Federer a speedy recovery ❤️🩹
— anjum modi (@anjummodi) September 25, 2021
Want to see Federer soon without crutches .Best wishes for speedy recovery
— csacarabany (@csacarabany2) September 25, 2021
Europe maintain unbeaten record in Laver Cup
Even without any of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic on their roster, Team Europe clinched their fourth consecutive Laver Cup victory by powering 14-1 ahead against Team World.
It meant the Bjorn Borg-captained Europe have maintained their unbeaten record in the competition against the John McEnroe-led team, featuring Australian regular Nick Kyrgios, in Boston.
Leading 11-1 overnight in the Ryder Cup-style event, Europe needed just one win from the four matches scheduled on Sunday to make it four straight titles.
And the doubles pairing of Germany's Alexander Zverev and Russian Andrey Rublev obliged with a 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 10-3 win against American Reilly Opelka and Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
The previous three editions had gone down to the wire, despite the disparity in rankings between the two sides, but this time Europe triumphed with room to spare as the great Rod Laver presented the trophy to Borg.
"At the end of the day, the score says that it was 14-1, but it could have gone both ways a lot of the time," Zverev said in an on-court interview.
"We (did) a lot of hard work for this victory throughout the whole week. The group of this team has been absolutely amazing.
"I think a lot of us came a lot closer together and to be honest I can't wait for London next year."
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