Roger Federer has been ruled out of the Australian Open 2021 after his agent gave an update on his injury progress.
The Swiss Maestro underwent two operations on his knees last year as he toiled with fitness problems.
Federer's agent Tony Godsick – the 39-year-old's long-term representative – revealed the news on Sunday after releasing a statement.
Instead, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is working on a calendar for the year, though it will mean the Australian Open will come too soon – despite itself being delayed.
Godsick said: "Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open.
"He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness.
"However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open.
"I will start discussions this coming week for tournaments that begin in late February and then start to build a schedule for the rest of the year."
It was the 2020 Australia Open where Federer last was seen in action at a Grand Slam, a tournament that showed the tennis star in clear pain as he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.
Since then, the tennis legend has endured hell and even admitted he has contemplated retirement for the first time.
“It has definitely been a big moment for me, with the coronavirus and the two operations I have had on my knee and I have had to consider if I really want to keep going [with my career],” Federer told GQ earlier this year.
It was just weeks after the Australian Open when Federer first underwent surgery on his right knee that ruled him out for four months.
He went under the knife upon his return that saw him miss the rest of the season.
Djokovic went on to win last term's competition and will hope to retain his title when campaign gets back underway, with the Australian Open earmarked as the first Grand Slam of the season.
This time, though, the tournament has been delayed and will take part on February 8 instead of January 18.
Meanwhile, former British No 1 Greg Rusedski reckons Federer has his sights set on Wimbledon.
He told Express Sport: "Federer you think has got one more year left, possibly two but realistically one more year, and his focus is going to be Wimbledon and the Olympics, those will be his two priorities.
"I don't think he's got a shot to win the Australian Open or the French, those will be big asks for him. He can still have good runs there but won't win them.
"Wimbledon, that's where he's aiming at. He's won eight titles there. The points against Novak, that must be the most heartbreaking loss of his career.”
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