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Following the news that Roger Federer has pulled out of the Australian Open as he continues to recover from a knee injury, former world number 1 Andy Roddick has questioned when the 39-year-old will be back in action. Federer underwent knee surgery after an exhibition match against long-time rival Rafael Nadal in South Africa in March and he was set to return at the Open.
However, Federer’s agent Tony Godsick confirmed that the Swiss tennis star had pulled out of the tournament.
Godsick told the AP: “Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open.
“Over the past two months he has made great progress with his knee and his fitness.
“However, after consulting with his team, he has decided that it is best for him to long term is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open.”
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Now, with Federer’s last official match coming in a semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at last year’s Australian Open, Roddick has questioned whether Federer is waiting to make his return “at a tournament that he actually thinks he’s gonna win”.
Speaking on the Tennis Channel, Roddick said: “If it’s not Australia, when is it?
“Is Roger Federer gonna jump back again on the clay…and risk a knee slipping sliding around a couple of months?
“Does not playing Australia mean that we are looking at him on grass at a tournament that he actually thinks he’s gonna win?
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“[I don’t know if] he’s gonna play a French Open where he’s not maybe one of the six, seven, eight favourites on that surface.
“Or is he going to wait a little longer and at least play a home game on a surface that he likes.”
Roddick also noted a change in Federer’s style of play, adding: “That changed even before this last injury.
“We all made a big deal about the bigger racket, he’s taking cuts on his backhand.
“That was not a necessity.
“He did not want to play defence as much.
“If the rally was not over in the first 2 or 3 shots, he was going to make sure it was over by the fourth shot, unless it as a deuce or a 30-all point.
“Similar to what we saw from Pete Sampras for a lot of his career.”
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