Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Roger Federer's Injury Return Delayed After Problems In India

A cash crisis in India means tennis fans will have to wait for another few weeks to see Roger Federer return to the court. Having not played since Wimbledon because of a knee injury, the 14-time Grand Slam champion was due to play in the International Premier Tennis League, a lucrative exhibition event, in India on Dec. 10. However, the collapse of the Indian currency led organizers to state earlier this week that neither Federer nor 22-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams would be competing as planned.

Federer's comeback will have to wait until 2017, when he is due to begin his build-up to the Australian with the Hopman Cup. The Swiss legend will be teaming up with compatriot Belinda Bencic at the event in Perth, with their opening match coming against the Great Britain team of Dan Evans and Heather Watson, Jan. 2.

The Australian Open will then get underway Jan. 18.

It was in the aftermath of the first Grand Slam of the year that Federer first suffered a knee injury that ended up blighting his 2016. After losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Australian Open, Federer was preparing a bath for his twin daughters when he damaged his knee, requiring surgery and two months on the sidelines.

He later withdrew from the French Open. And, although he reached the semifinals of Wimbledon he subsequently announced his decision to sit out the rest of the season in order to get fully recovered for 2017. Despite sparking speculation over his long-term future, Federer insisted that he only took the decision because he still planned on competing at the top of the game for several years to come.

As well as his advancing years, the 35-year-old will face a fresh challenge when he returns to the tour. During his absence, Federer has slipped to 16th in the ATP rankings, the first time he has been out of the top 10 since 2002. It is likely to mean a tough draw at the Australian Open and perhaps a meeting as early as the fourth round with either defending champion Novak Djokovic or new world No. 1 Andy Murray.

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