Tennis Australia player liaison officer Andre Sa revealed impact of hotel quarantine Roger Federer’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Open, with his recovery from knee surgery only part of the picture.
Federer’s manager Tony Goldsick confirmed last week that the Swiss maestro will be absent from the 2021 first major, saying the tournament came too early for the 20-time Grand Slam winner after two operations in 2020.
“Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open,” Godsick told the AP in a statement.
“He has made great strides in recent months with his knee and his fitness. However, after consulting with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run was to return to competitive tennis after the Open d ‘Australia.
“I will start discussions next week for the tournaments which start at the end of February, then I will start to set a schedule for the rest of the year.”
However, speaking to a Brazilian website, Sa said Federer’s decision was more important than originally announced.
Sa said the 14-day hotel quarantine, which is more onerous for the players’ families than the players themselves, was a big factor in Federer’s decision not to come to Australia.
While Federer was reportedly allowed out of his hotel room for five hours a day to train and prepare, his wife Mirka and four children were reportedly locked in the room 24 hours a day for 14 full days.
Sa said Mirka did not approve of Federer going to Australia alone or taking his family with him under such difficult circumstances.
“The main reason was the quarantine. I spoke 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 was, Mirka and her kids couldn’t leave the room. They would have to stay in the room for 14 days. Except for the players. He could go out, train and come back, but the family couldn’t. no Mirka did not approve of the idea.
“The other option would be for him to come alone. Only there would be at least five weeks away from the family and the kids. And then he said, ‘Dude, (I’m) 39, (I’m) four kids, 20 Grand Slams, I’m not (willing) to spend five weeks away from my family anymore. “
Federer has won the Australian Open title six times, most recently winning it in 2018. Currently tied for the top of the Grand Slam standings with 20 majors to his name, Federer’s absence will give Rafael Nadal his first chance to win this title for himself. .