Dominic Thiem says it is ‘sad’ for tennis that Roger Federer is out of action until Wimbledon after knee surgery but expects the Swiss star to be ready to attack at SW19.
Less than two weeks after playing in a record-breaking exhibition with Rafael Nadal in South Africa, Federer announced he faces an extended period on the sidelines after surgery on Wednesday.
“My right knee has been bothering me for a little while,” he said.
“I hoped it would go away but after an examination and discussion with my team, I have decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday.
“After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery.
“As a result, I will, unfortunately, have to miss Dubai, Indian Wells, Bogota, Miami and the French Open.
“I am grateful for everyone’s support. I can’t wait to be back playing again soon, see you on the grass.”
Thiem will be one of the major beneficiaries of Federer’s absence and could move into the top three of the world rankings for the first time in his career if he wins his quarter-final match at the Rio Open on Friday.
Federer is understood to be targeting Halle and Wimbledon for his return to action.
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And Thiem is looking forward to welcoming back his Laver Cup team-mate.
“Me and everybody else love to watch him, love when he’s around in the ATP Tour,” he said after his second-round match in Rio.
“It sad that he is out until Wimbledon, but on the other hand if he needs the surgery, if he is ready for grass season and it’s good [that he’ll be] back playing in great shape.”
Thiem’s comments were echoed by former world No 6 Gilles Simon, who feels Federer will still be more than capable of winning Grand Slams on his return.
“The last time it was hard but he still won the Australian Open in his stride after not playing for nine months,” said 35-year-old Simon.
“There’s nothing else to say. We’ll wait and see.”
THE FOUR TOURNAMENTS ROGER FEDERER WILL MISS
Dubai Tennis Championships – February 24
Indian Wells – March 12
Miami – March 25
French Open – May 24
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