Roger Federer decided to miss the Australian Open because his wife, Mirka, objected to having to spend a fortnight in quarantine, a senior official said.
It was widely believed that the reason Federer skipped the next Grand Slam tournament was related to the knee surgery he had last season.
He had hinted at it, and agent Tony Godsick brought up the knee rehabilitation when he announced in December that the great Swiss would not be traveling to Melbourne.
But Andre Sa, head of player liaison at Tennis Australia, said Federer stepped down when it became clear his wife and children would be locked in their hotel for two weeks.
Players traveling to Australia must all self-quarantine to avoid any possible spread of COVID-19, but they are allotted five hours a day that they can leave their rooms to train and practice with striking partners. specified.
Sa, a former doubles top 20 player, told Band Sports in his native Brazil that he discussed the practicalities with Federer, a father of four, before the 20-time winner made his decision.
“The main reason was the quarantine,” Sa said. “I spoke to him a month ago and he had two options. He could come with the whole family and quarantine.
“The problem is that Mirka and her children couldn’t leave the room. They would have to stay in the room for 14 days. The exception is only for players.
“He could go out, train and come back, but the family couldn’t. 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 his family and kids. And then he said, ‘Dude, 39, four kids, 20 grand slams. am more in step to be away from my family for five weeks. ‘”
Former world No.1 Federer has not played in a tournament since his loss to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-final last year.
This year’s edition of the grand slam has been delayed by three weeks to start on February 8 due to factors related to the pandemic.