Two-time Olympic medalist and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics, which kicks off later this month in Japan.
In a message posted on social media, Federer revealed he had "experienced a setback" with his knee during the grasscourt season. The 39-year-old had undergone two surgeries on his knee in 2020, and since returning to the tour this year he has been particular about safeguarding it from too much wear and tear.
Roger Federer won the gold medal in the men's doubles event at the 2008 Beijing Games, partnering Stan Wawrinka. He also claimed the men's singles silver medal at the 2012 London Games, losing to Andy Murray in the final.
Federer's partner in crime Wawrinka has also pulled out of the Tokyo Games, having undergone a second surgery on his left foot.
Last week, Roger Federer was defeated at Wimbledon by Poland's Hubert Kurkacz in a surprisingly one-sided quarterfinal. After the match, Federer had told the press that he would evaluate his decision about going to Tokyo as well as his schedule for the rest of the season over the next few days.
Since undergoing double surgery on his knee last year, Federer has played only five events on the tour (starting with Doha in March 2021). He has compiled a 9-4 win-loss record during this time.
In his social media message, Roger Federer mentioned that he has begun the rehabilitation process for his knee and that he hopes to return to the tour later in the summer. The US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season, kicks off on 30 August in New York, and will be preceded by ATP Masters events in Cincinnati and Toronto.
Roger Federer is just the latest player to join the Tokyo Olypmics exodus
The tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics has already seen a huge number of withdrawals. Given that the entire Games will be hosted without any spectators in the stands, many players have expressed their unwillingness to travel to Tokyo.
Roger Federer is just the latest to announce his withdrawal, joining World No. 3 Rafael Nadal, World No. 6 Dominic Thiem, World No. 10 Denis Shapovalov, Australia's Nick Kyrgios, Belgium's David Goffin, Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka and America's Reilly Opelka.
On the women's side, Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu are among those who have pulled out of the event.
With Federer and Wawrinka both on the sidelines, Swiss hopes for a medal in Tokyo will now depend on WTA players Belinda Bencinc and Victorija Golubic.