Troubling detail in Roger Federer's sad withdrawal from Olympics

Roger Federer, pictured here after his loss in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer speaks to the media after his loss in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. (Photo by AELTC/Joe Toth - Pool/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Roger Federer has become the latest tennis star to withdraw form the Tokyo Olympics, making the troubling revelation that he suffered a knee injury at Wimbledon.

The tennis great made the sad announcement on Tuesday, stunning fans desperate to see him play at the Olympics one final time.

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The 20-time grand slam champion was knocked out of Wimbledon in the quarter-finals by Hubert Hurkacz.

The 39-year-old, who has never won an Olympic singles gold medal, underwent two surgeries on his right knee in 2020.

"During the grass court season, I unfortunately experienced a setback with my knee, and have accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games," Federer said in a statement on social media.

Federer, who turns 40 next month, pulled out of the French Open after reaching the fourth round, hoping to be fit for Wimbledon.

He showed signs of his best during his run to the quarter-finals, but bowed out tamely in a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 to Poland's Hurkacz.

That defeat sparked talk among fans and pundits speculating whether the eight-time Wimbledon winner would retire, with Federer saying he "didn't know" if his Wimbledon career was over.

But on Tuesday, the former World No.1 said he was hoping to return to the ATP Tour later this summer.

"I have already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer," he added.

"I wish the entire Swiss team the best of luck and I will be rooting hard for the team from afar."

Federer had earlier opened up about his heartache at being forced to spend time away from his family at Wimbledon and the French Open.

Roger Federer and wife Mirka, pictured here at the Wimbledon Winners Dinner in 2017.
Roger Federer and wife Mirka at the Wimbledon Winners Dinner in 2017. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage) (WireImage)

"Well, terrible," Federer said after when asked about life in the Wimbledon bubble and being away from his family.

"I have not seen them, I am not with them and that in itself is not good.

"I speak to them you know, three times a day, checking with Mirka if everything's okay at home."

The Swiss great would also have needed to leave his family behind if he was to play in Tokyo.

"Having four kids in a bubble isn’t really going to work out for me, so we have this situation here and we’ll have it again at Wimbledon, and maybe also at the Olympics," he said at Roland Garros.

"My first thought with Mirka is to get through Wimbledon, see how that feels and how that goes, and we’ll go from there.

"Our initial goal was to get in shape for the grass-court season, and for Wimbledon in particular, but so far, so good, everything is ok at home from everything I hear with Mirka."

Federer joins big lost of tennis stars skipping Olympics

Federer is latest to join a long list of tennis stars to skip the Olympics, with Bianca Andreescu and Johanna Konta also announcing their withdrawals on Tuesday.

Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Dominic Thiem have all pulled out, while newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic said his chances of playing in Tokyo are "50/50".

The Olympic singles title is the only major tournament Federer is yet to win. He has completed the career grand slam and won the season-ending ATP Finals six times.

He lost in the semi-finals in 2000 in Sydney and reached the final in 2012, only to be beaten by Andy Murray in London just weeks after edging out the Briton on the same Centre Court in the Wimbledon final.

However he did win doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008.

Federer's loss to Hurkacz was just his 14th defeat at Wimbledon in 119 matches, and the first time he had been beaten in the tournament in straight sets since a first-round exit at the hands of Mario Ancic in 2002.

It was also the first time he had lost a set 6-0 at Wimbledon and just the third time at a Slam.

"With everything that comes after Wimbledon, we were always going to sit down and talk about it because clearly now Wimbledon is over," Federer said after the match.

"I got to take a few days. Just see, okay, what do I need to do to get in better shape so I can be more competitive."

with agencies

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