Injured Federer and Goffin pull out as Pliskova braces for maiden Olympics - GulfToday

Injured Federer and Goffin pull out as Pliskova braces for maiden Olympics

Karolina Pliskova

The Wimbledon final was Karolina Pliskova’s best Grand Slam result side by side with the 2016 US Open final when she lost to Angelique Kerber in three sets. File / Agence France-Presse

Roger Federer announced on Tuesday he has withdrawn from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after a ‘setback’ in his recovery from a knee injury.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was knocked out of Wimbledon in the quarter-finals by Hubert Hurkacz last week.

The 39-year-old Federer, who has never won an Olympic singles gold medal, underwent two surgeries on his right knee in 2020.

“During the grass court season, I unfortunately experienced a setback with my knee, and have accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games,” Federer said in a statement on social media.

The tennis competitions in Japan are set to start on July 24, the day after the opening ceremony.

Federer, who turns 40 next month, pulled out of the French Open after reaching the fourth round, hoping to get fit for Wimbledon.

He showed signs of his best during his run to the quarter-finals, but bowed out tamely, losing 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 to Poland’s Hurkacz.

That defeat sparked talk among fans and pundits speculating whether the eight-time Wimbledon winner would retire, with Federer saying he “didn’t know” if his Wimbledon career was over.

But on Tuesday, the former world number one said he was hoping to return to the ATP Tour later this summer.

“I have already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer,” he added.

“I wish the entire Swiss team the best of luck and I will be rooting hard for the team from afar.”

He is just the latest to join a long list of tennis stars to skip the Olympics.

Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Dominic Thiem have all pulled out, while newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic put his chances of playing in Tokyo at “50/50”.

The Olympic singles title is the only major tournament Federer is yet to win. He has completed the career Grand Slam and won the season-ending ATP Finals six times.

Pliskova confirms participation: Karolina Pliskova was all smiles as she stopped over in Prague on her way from the Wimbledon final to her maiden Olympic tournament at Tokyo on Monday.

Two days after losing the Wimbledon final to Ashleigh Barty in three sets, Pliskova hailed the tournament as a success that was due in part to a change in her mindset.

“I see it as a success rather than a failure. It’s not as if I played a final every other day,” Pliskova told a news conference at a Prague tennis academy bearing her name.

The Wimbledon final was her best Grand Slam result side by side with the 2016 US Open final when she lost to Angelique Kerber in three sets.

“I never did well at Wimbledon and I never really liked the tournament, so this has changed a bit,” said Pliskova.

“I’m still nursing this goal of winning a Grand Slam, I will have that until I make it,” added the 29-year-old world number seven who flew to Prague from London on Monday. “I just threw the suitcases on the floor and had a shower at home,” she said with a smile contrasting with her tears on the court after the final, and with her sometimes restrained behaviour on and off the court.

“I have found a way of enjoying tennis and have a laugh now and then, and when I laugh I feel I’m doing better on the court so I’ll try to keep doing that,” Pliskova added.

Goffin pulls out : David Goffin joins several high-profile players who have already withdrawn from the Olympics. Goffin, the Belgian number one who is 20th in the ATP rankings, announced on Tuesday that he would not play at the Olympics because he has not recovered from an ankle injury.

“The tournament starts on 24 (July), I still haven’t picked up the racket,” he told French-language broadcaster RTBF. “The Olympics will be too soon for me this time.”

“It’s not good news because I was determined to take part in these Games, even in these very special conditions, at a venue that suits me well,” he told Le Soir newspaper.

Andreescu withdraws: Canadian world number five Bianca Andreescu said on Monday she will skip the Tokyo Olympics, citing concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 21-year-old 2019 US Open champion announced her decision in a statement on social media.

“I would like to inform you that I have made the very difficult decision to not play in the Tokyo Olympics later this month,”


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