Truth about Federer’s Aus Open snub
Australia's 14-day quarantine requirements continue to claim high-profile sporting victims, with Roger Federer revealed as the latest to skip coming Down Under.
As Formula One prepares to make the postponement of the Melbourne Grand Prix official, it's been reported Federer pulled out of the Australian Open because of strict COVID protocols.
The Associated Press reported late last year the Swiss maestro would miss the first grand slam of 2021 as he continues to recover from two knee operations.
Federer's manager Tony Godsick said the tennis legend wouldn't be rushing back to the court for the tournament at Melbourne Park, which is scheduled to begin on February 8.
"Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open," Godsick told AP in a statement.
"He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness. However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open.
"I will start discussions this coming week for tournaments that begin in late February and then start to build a schedule for the rest of the year."
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley also indicated Federer had pulled out because of his physical limitations.
"In the end Roger ran out of time to get himself ready for the rigours of a grand slam and he's very disappointed he won't be coming to Melbourne in 2021," Tiley said in a statement.
But Tennis Australia's head of player liaisons, Brazilian former professional Andre Sa, has revealed the truth in an interview with a website in his native country.
"The main reason was the quarantine. I talked to him a month ago and he had two options. He could come with the whole family and (they could) quarantine (with) him," Sa said.
"The problem is that Mirka (Federer's wife) and her children couldn't leave the room. They would have to stay 14 days in the room. The exception is only for players. He could go out, train and come back, but the family couldn't. Mirka did not approve the idea.
"The other option would be for him to come alone. Only there would be at least five weeks away from family and children. And then he said, 'Dude, (I'm) 39, (I have) four kids, 20 Grand Slams, I am no longer (willing) to spend five weeks away from my family."
Federer has won the Australian Open six times but after losing in the 2020 semi-final to Novak Djokovic, missed the rest of the interrupted 2020 season following surgery and could only watch as Rafael Nadal matched his record 20 grand slam titles with a 13th victory at the French Open.
Originally published as Truth about Federer's Aus Open snub