Men’s tennis’ Big 3 rivalry on hold after Roger Federer US Open withdrawal

Roger Federer Wimbledon
Roger Federer
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Federer, one of the greatest men’s tennis players ever and current World No. 9 announced on Sunday that he has withdrawn from the 2021 US Open in Queens later this month due to a nagging knee injury that requires surgery. The procedure will force him to miss extended time, as he described as “many months.”

“I’ve been doing a lot of chats with doctors about my knee, getting all the information since I hurt myself further during the grasscourt season at Wimbledon. It’s just not the way to go forward,” Federer said. “To feel better, I’ll need surgery. I decided to do it. I’ll be on crutches for many weeks and out of the game for many months. It’ll be difficult in some ways but at the same time, I know it’s the right thing to do because I want to be healthy I want to be running around later as well.”

The 40-year-old has already undergone a pair of knee surgeries last year, limiting him to just 13 matches in 2021 and multiple withdrawals at many tournaments, including the French Open and Tokyo Olympics. He had not played competitively since the quarterfinals of Wimbledon back in July where he lost in straight sets to Lorenzo Sonego.

Federer is currently tied with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the most major men’s singles tennis titles at 20. Djokovic drew level with Nadal and Federer after winning the first three Grand Slam events — the French Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon — this year.

If Djokovic were to win the US Open in September, he would become the first man to achieve the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’ — winning each of the four major tournaments in one year — since 1969 when Australian legend Rod Laver swept all four championships.

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