Roger Federer has announced that he will not be travelling to Japan to compete in the Tokyo Olympics after sustaining a knee injury at Wimbledon. The Swiss lost in the quarterfinals at the All England Club to Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets, failing to even win a game in the third set. That was the first time in his long career that he had been bagelled at Wimbledon and his performance throughout the match raised concerns that he had suffered an injury of some kind.
Federer confirmed as much in a statement released on his social media channels, describing a ‘setback with [his] knee’ that will require further rehabilitation ahead of a planned return to the tour later in the summer. It is understandably a considerable blow to Federer. The 20-time Major champion also missed the 2016 Games in Rio, denying him the chance to add to the gold medal he won in doubles in Beijing in 2008 and the silver medal in singles he claimed four years later in London.
It will also come as a real blow to the organisers of the tennis tournament in Tokyo, with Federer far from the only high profile athlete to pull out of the Olympics. Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Serena Williams are only some of other the star names who will not be in attendance in the Japanese capital, whilst world #1 Novak Djokovic – who remains in with a chance of completing the ‘Golden Slam’ – has said that his participation in Tokyo is currently 50-50.
For Federer, this may well be a particularly disappointing development coming so soon after Djokovic equalled his and Nadal’s record of 20 Major titles, a mark that the Serbian and the Spaniard now look considerably more likely to pass than Federer. Winning a gold medal in singles may have helped Federer in his ongoing battle for the mantle of Greatest of All Time, but instead the Swiss will remain firmly on the backfoot in that particular contest.
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