Roger Federer has revealed he may be unable to return at the Australian Open after all with his recovery taking longer than expected.
Federer has been out injured for almost a year after having to undergo double knee-surgery.
He has always stated that the Australian Open was his target for a return, but despite 'steady' progress since he resumed practice, he says the clock is now ticking and he is in very real danger of not making it.
“I would have hoped that I would be 100% in October. But I am still not today. It will be tight for the Australian Open,” Federer said.
“The second knee operation was a huge damper, but in the last six months there has been steady progress.
“Let’s see how the next two months will unfold. I’ve been doing a lot of physio and physical work lately, now let’s see how tennis is doing.”
Federer may be helped by the decision to delay the start of the tournament for three weeks due to the the coronavirus crisis, and he admits he may benefit from that extra time.
“It’s a race against time for the Australian Open. I’m curious to see whether it will start on February 8,” he added.
“Of course, it would help if I had a bit more time.”
"After the second operation I said to myself: 'I want to take my time. I don't want to take the next step until I'm ready'.
"These three weeks might help me a bit. The summer with Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and the US Open is my priority."
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