Some people have asked me why Federer pulled out of the Australian Open. I speculated that he wasn't keen on quarantine. It seems to be true.
The official answer to the question “Why Federer pulled out of the Australian Open” was that he wasn't a hundred percent ready after his knee injury. This is the statement from Federer's agent Tony Godsick:
“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.”
But according to this article from tennis.news.au and Tennis Australia's Head of Player Liaisons, Andre Sa. The real reason was the following:
“The main reason was the quarantine. I talked to him a month ago and he had two options. He could come with the whole family and (they could) quarantine (with) him,” Sa said.
“The problem is that Mirka (Federer’s wife) and her children couldn’t leave the room. They would have to stay 14 days in the room. The exception is only for players. He could go out, train, and come back, but the family couldn’t. Mirka did not approve of the idea.
“The other option would be for him to come alone. Only there would be at least five weeks away from family and children. And then he said, ‘Dude, (I’m) 39, (I have) four kids, 20 Grand Slams, I am no longer (willing) to spend five weeks away from my family.”
That is was Andre Sa stated in an interview with a Brazilian website. It doesn't come as a shock considering the strict quarantine rules in Australia. The whole journey there becomes a risk and a sacrifice for a player and a family that doesn't really need to do it.
What are your thoughts about Federer's reasoning?
The quarantining protocols we have in place are strict but also the same for everyone (as they should be). Roger appears to have made the pragmatic decision and that’s fair enough. This is Melbourne’s first big test after the couple of prolonged strict lockdowns we had last year so there’s going to be even greater focus paid to the event. There is a significant section of the community wanting the Open postponed/cancelled… fingers and toes crossed that all players, coaches, etc do the right thing while in town. Wish us luck!
the quarantine protocol in Australia is way over the top.
the media is the virus
people’s behavior is the pandemic
common sense is the cure
That may actually be good news since Federers knee could be in better shape that we have been told.
It’s not difficult to follow Roger’s reasoning and priorities. If the knee is not 100% it makes the decision easier for him.