Tennis legend Roger Federer withdraws from Tokyo 2020 after injury setback

The Swiss tennis star won doubles gold at Beijing 2008 and silver in the London 2012 singles competition; British number 1 Johanna Konta makes "heartbreaking" decision to withdraw from her second Games

3 min By olympic-editorialworkflow
Roger Federer
(Picture by 2021 Getty Images)

Roger Federer has been forced to withdraw from Tokyo 2020, following a setback to the knee injury that kept him out of competition for 13 months between February 2020 and March 2021. The tennis star, who has 20 Grand Slam singles titles to his name, was initially named in the Swiss team to compete at the Games. However, he will now miss out on the chance to better the Olympic silver medal he won at London 2012 where he lost in the final to Great Britain's Andy Murray.

Federer announced his withdrawal on social media, stating; "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. I am greatly disappointed, as it has been an honor and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland."

The announcement comes less than a week after Federer was knocked out of Wimbledon by Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals. He will now concentrate on his rehabilitation with the hopes of returning to tournaments later in the summer.

Ralph Stöckli, Chef de Mission of the Swiss Olympic Committee responded to Federer's announcement by looking back at his legacy at the Olympic Games, saying: “We are really happy about his past appearances and his presence would have brought a lot of joy and pride to the Swiss Team,” before adding: "Health comes before everything, even for such an important event as the Olympic Games.”

In March of this year, Federer expressed his strong desire to compete in Tokyo, saying: "The Olympics is a major goal for me. Unfortunately, I missed the Rio Olympics because of a left knee injury. I hope I will return to the Tokyo Olympics."

Unfortunately, injury has robbed him of his chance to compete for an Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020.

Johanna Konta has also withdrawn from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after testing positive for Covid-19.

The British No. 1, who made her Olympic debut in Rio in 2016, was forced to withdraw from the Wimbledon Championships and go into isolation after a member of her team contracted the virus.

Konta subsequently developed symptoms before returning a positive test, leaving her unable to train, and the period of inaction has led her to take the "heartbreaking" step of withdrawing from the Games.

The 30-year-old said: "I was unable to compete at Wimbledon this year after a member of my team tested positive for Covid-19. Unfortunately, while self-isolating, I also developed symptoms and subsequently tested positive for the virus.

"As a result, I have been unable to train for the last two weeks and sadly, this has put my body in a situation where I am unable to ask it to be fully ready in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"This is a heartbreaking reality for me, as representing Team GB at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 is one of my most treasured memories from my career. I'll be doing my best to get myself back to full health and fitness and ready to be competing again soon."

GettyImages-1152888988 (2019 Getty Images)

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