Roger Federer is going to miss the US Open and will be sidelined for what he said will be “many months” because he needs a third operation on his right knee.
Federer announced the news on Sunday via a video message on Instagram, saying he’ll be “out of the game for many months” but wants to give himself a “glimmer of hope” to return to action.
The announced has further fuelled speculation that Federer, who turned 40 on August 8, may be about to retire.
The 20-time grand slam champion hasn’t played a match since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last month.
But the father of four has stopped short of suggesting retirement is imminent.
“I want to give myself a glimmer of hope also to return to the tour in some shape or form,” he said.
“I am realistic, don’t get me wrong, I know how difficult it is at this age right now to do another surgery and try it.
“But look I want to be healthy and I’ll go through the rehab process.”
The Swiss star also sat out the Tokyo Olympics, saying he had hurt his knee during the grass-court season.
He missed more than a year of action after first having his knee repaired shortly after the 2020 Australian Open in February of that year. He had a follow-up procedure that June.
The season’s last grand slam, the US Open, starts on August 30 in New York.
“I’ll be on crutches for many weeks and then also out of the game for many months,” he said.
“It’s going to be difficult of course in some ways but at the same time I know it’s the right thing to do because I want to be healthy and I want to be running around later as well.”
The Swiss star turned 40 last weekend, and said he was learning to adjust to the fact that recovering from niggles takes a bit longer now.
“It was different before. The questions were simple: What is my place in the ranking? What will my next tournament be?”, he told Blick newspaper.
“Today, it’s more difficult: How do I feel when I start training again? What are my goals? How to reconcile all this with the family? What does the rest of the team say?
Federer has not won a major since the 2018 Australian Open. By then, he was already well past 36 and the second oldest man to win a slam title.