Roger Federer. Picture: REUTERS
Roger Federer. Picture: REUTERS

Paris — Roger Federer on Monday said he is “missing” Wimbledon after the grass-court Grand Slam was cancelled, but hopes to play the tournament in 2021.

The 38-year-old, who has undergone two knee operations in 2020, had already announced he will not play again until next year. This week was scheduled to be the second week of Wimbledon, where Federer has won a record eight singles titles, but the tournament was cancelled for the first time since World War 2 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Personally, it has been very pleasant to stay in the same place for a long time, I hadn’t experienced that for more than 25 years,” Federer said at the launch of the “Roger Center Court” running shoes created by Swiss brand On.

“But of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week.

“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Federer said the coronavirus lockdown gave him the chance to recuperate after surgery, but he will have to be “patient” as he waits to return to the court.

“Combined with my operations, it was an important moment for me, [to know] if I wanted to continue,” he said. “It’s very easy to say but it’s a long way to come back, you have to be patient, it also was a time for reflection.

“We were in the mountains, isolated, we didn’t see anyone, I didn’t see my parents for almost three months, we were very serious and strict.”

The ATP and WTA Tours are set to resume in August despite a raft of professional players having contracted Covid-19.

Federer could have lost his record of most men’s Grand Slam singles titles by the time he returns, with his old rival Rafael Nadal just one behind on the all-time list.

The US Open will be the first Grand Slam after the restart, getting under way behind closed doors in New York on August 31, before the French Open starts, with fans allowed to attend Roland Garros, on September 24.

The Swiss star will also be hoping to claim Olympic singles gold for the first time in 2021 at the postponed Tokyo Olympics in Japan, with the final to be played a week before his 40th birthday.

AFP

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