Tennis world number 5, Roger Federer has announced his decision to sit out the 2021 Australian Open as he recovers from two knee operations he underwent in 2020. This ends his run of playing at the Rod Laver Arena for 21 consecutive years, spanning from 1999 to 2020.
In recent years, Federer has been plagued by injuries as he has advanced in age, and now aged 39, he only appeared in a solitary Grand Slam in 2020, and that was the Australian Open, where he managed to reach the Semi-Finals before he was knocked out by rival and eventual winner, Novak Djokovic.
Federer has won the Australian Open title 6 times, with his last title in 2018. His absence gives his closest rival, Rafael Nadal, the chance to overtake him in the race for the most Grand Slam titles, and Djokovic a chance to close in on his record of 20 titles.