Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Federer has knee surgery again, plans to return in 2021

Roger Federer slugs a forehand during his 2018 exhibition in San Jose, Calif,
Photo by Mal Taam
   Remember when Roger Federer avoided injuries and there was a men's pro tour?
   Both seem like distant memories.
   The injuries are mounting for Federer. He recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery for the second time this year and third time in four years. Federer also suffered a groin injury in his epic victory over Tennys Sandgren in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January.
   Yet Federer, who will turn 39 on Aug. 8, has no plans to retire. He said he will return in 2021.
   "A few weeks ago, having experienced a setback during my initial rehabilitation, I had to have an additional quick arthroscopic procedure on my right knee," Federer, whose only Northern California appearance came in a 2018 exhibition in San Jose, tweeted today. "Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100% ready to play at my highest level.
   "I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly, but I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season."
   Federer suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in February 2016 while running a bath for his twin daughters. He also had surgery on his right knee this past February and had planned to return for the grass-court season before the tour was suspended indefinitely in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   In Federer's only tournament of the year, he saved seven match points against Sandgren in the Australian Open before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Novak Djokovic 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-3.
   At Wimbledon last year, Federer held two championship points before falling to Djokovic 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3). It was the longest Wimbledon final ever, lasting 4 hours, 57 minutes.
   Federer has won a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, one ahead of Rafael Nadal and three in front of third-place Djokovic.
   However, the men's and women's pro tours have been suspended until at least July 31 and July 12, respectively.
   The U.S. Open remains scheduled for Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, and the French Open was postponed from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 20-Oct. 4.
   Wimbledon, which had been scheduled for June 29 to July 12, was canceled for the first time in 75 years on April 1. The Summer Olympics in Tokyo were pushed back from July 24-Aug. 9 to July 23-Aug. 8, 2021.
   Federer tops Forbes' annual list of highest-earning athletes, the magazine announced last month.  With $100 million in endorsements and $6.3 million in prize money, Federer became the first tennis player to head the list since it debuted in 1990.
   Trailing Federer in the top five are soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million total), Lionel Messi ($104 million) and Neymar ($95.5 million) and basketball star LeBron James ($88.2 million).
   Federer is one of five tennis players in the top 100. The others are No. 23 Novak Djokovic ($44.6 million), No. 27 Rafael Nadal ($40 million), No. 29 Naomi Osaka (the highest-earning female athlete at $37.4 million), No. 33 Serena Williams ($36 million) and No. 40 Kei Nishikori ($32.1 million).