Roger Federer has released a statement that will be a big disappointment to legions of fans across the globe, with the Swiss star confirming that he has undergone surgery for a right knee issue that will keep him out of action until the grass-court season in June.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) February 20, 2020
Surgery required for the Swiss
It is not the first time that Federer has had to go under the knife. The 20-time Major champion had a similar operation after the Australian Open in 2016 to repair a torn meniscus, an injury he picked up whilst running a bath for his children, albeit performed on his other knee. That surgery kept him out for the majority of the 2016 season, despite several attempts at an early comeback and a run to the Wimbledon semifinals. But he was able to rebound in 2017, putting together a magnificent season in which he won the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Federer will be hoping that his comeback goes more smoothly this time around. Wimbledon remains his best chance of winning another Major title, with the Swiss last year holding two match points in the final against Djokovic, before slipping to a five-set defeat. But he appears confident that this surgery will not interfere with his ambitions in that regard, with a return likely to be planned for Stuttgart or Halle.
Ranking point problems ahead
With Federer set to miss the Sunshine Double and the entire clay-court season, as well as Dubai and Bogota, his ranking will inevitably take a real hit. He was defending champion in Dubai and Miami, and reached the final in Indian Wells and the last four at Roland Garros. The 360 points he picked up for reaching the quarterfinals in Madrid and Rome will also fall to the wayside.
That will leave him just 3950 ranking points heading into the grass-court season. Currently that will be enough to keep him ranked at world #7 and Wimbledon’s seeding formula will most likely secure him a place in the top four seeds at the All England Club. But with another 1200 points to defend in SW19, an early exit could be disastrous for the great Swiss. Of course, his ranking won’t be his chief concern at this point in his career, but if he falls outside the top eight, he will be in danger of early meetings with his long-time rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Nonetheless, for Federer the chief concern now is winning another Major title and it is increasingly hard to see him achieving that feat anywhere other than at the All England Club. But even on the grass, Roger Federer can only win if he’s healthy, which makes the choice to have surgery surely the right one going forward.
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