Novak Djokovic was eyeing a dream Roland Garros return but will have to wait at least a few more weeks before making a comeback.
Federer said on Wednesday that he was targeting the Shanghai Masters, which begins on Oct. 21, for his return after undergoing another knee surgery last month to alleviate ongoing pain in the joint.
But, after confirming on Wednesday that he would not contest the US Open starting next week, he revealed he would need to miss at least two months of the season to be fully fit again.
“The first couple of months will be a bit of a test,” the Swiss said. “I can tell it’s going to be another six, seven weeks before I’m back in the races.
“It’s another surgery on the knee. It’s complicated. It’s a nerve problem. After two or three weeks of training, I know this is the issue, but the procedure was a simple one.”
After winning his record eighth Wimbledon title, Federer last month said he would miss the US Open in New York due to the pain in his right knee, with a return to play still to be confirmed.
He later asked to withdraw from the Shanghai Masters to nurse the injury and has now decided to take no further risk.
“I’m playing three tournaments in Asia before Paris [the French Open], and I think it’s just more reasonable to play Shanghai,” he said.
The Swiss announced the operation on Aug. 23, less than two weeks after claiming his eighth Wimbledon crown.
It is Federer’s second such operation in the space of a year and the 31-year-old said he planned to take a slower approach to the game in the hope of winning a record-extending 18th Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon next June.
“I’m still young,” he said. “My goal is to play another 10 years and try to be strong and be competitive for as long as I can. If I miss more than two months, it’s disappointing.”
Tennis 24/7 later today and we’ll have more from #FedererHearings for you to peruse on-line at https://t.co/gQL2iQvFfs pic.twitter.com/1RLbiRguv9 — Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) October 4, 2017