Roger Federer won’t head to Australia this summer but not because of his ongoing knee injury, it’s been revealed.
Instead, Tennis Australia head of player liaison Andre Sa says Federer’s decision not to compete at the Australia Open is because wife Mirka doesn’t want to be subjected to the strict quarantine rules put in place for players and their entourage.
“The main reason was the quarantine,” Sa revealed on Bandsports.
“I talked to him a month ago and he had two options.
Mirka Federer has been by superstar husband Roger’s side for more than a decade.
Mirka Federer has been by superstar husband Roger’s side for more than a decade. Credit: Gareth Fuller/AP
“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 14 days in the room.
“The exception is only for players. He could go out, train and come back, but the family couldn’t. Mirka did not approve the idea.”
Federer and his wife have four children – 11-year-old twin girls Myla and Charlene, and five-year-old twin boys Leo and Lenny.
Mirka Federer watches her husband Roger Federer with the couple’s four children Myla, Charlene, Lenny and Leo.
Mirka Federer watches her husband Roger Federer with the couple’s four children Myla, Charlene, Lenny and Leo. Credit: Dubreuil Corinne/PA
Any player taking part in the Australian Open must enter quarantine by January 16 and return a negative COVID test before entering the country.
They will arrive by charter flights and only be allowed to practice with one designated player for their first week of quarantine.
Players will be permitted to train for a maximum of five hours per day.
Federer is a fan favourite in Australia, but hasn’t played since the 2020 Australian Open due to two rounds of knee surgery.
The Swiss master is a six-time Australian Open champion and his withdrawal is a massive blow to tournament organisers.
But Sa said family came first for the former world number one.
“The other option would be for him to come alone,” Sa said.
“Only there would be at least five weeks away from family and children. And then he said, ‘Dude, 39, four kids, 20 Grand Slams. I am no longer (able) to spend five weeks away from my family’.”
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