The Swiss “Express Train” skipped the first Grand Slam of the year due to still not recovering from a right knee surgery.

Roger Federer is training in Dubai, UAE to prepare for the new season. His decision not to attend his first Grand Slam of the year stems from the opinions of coaches Severin Luthi, Ivan Ljubicic and fitness expert Pierre Paganini.

The “Express Train” has not played an official game since late January 2020, after he lost to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals. In early February, he performed with Rafael Nadal at a charity event in South Africa.

In late February, Federer announced laparoscopic surgery on his right knee and sat out for at least 4 months. After that, he got a second time on the operating table and missed the remainder of the season.

The 39-year-old player only played 6 matches in 2020, but he is still voted “Most Popular Player at ATP Tour” for the 18th time in a row.

Federer had only been away from the field once due to a surgery on his left knee in 2016, which caused him to miss the Rio Olympics and the US Open, but came back impressed with two championships at the Australian Open and Wimbledon 2017.

He has not played any official tournament since stopping at the 2020 Australian Open semifinals. He underwent 2 knee surgeries, missed most of the season, but still ended end the year at number 5 in the world.

Australian Open 2021 is scheduled to start from February 8, 3 weeks back from the original plan. However, this is not the final option. Tournament director Craig Tiley is hoping to announce the official opening date in the next few weeks.

Roger Federer set a record with 21 consecutive main hits in the first Grand Slam tournament at Melbourne Park, after losing in the first qualifying round in 1999. The Swiss player has six times to take the throne, with the last time in five 2018 when overcoming Marin Cilic after 5 sets.

In the middle of the 2016 season, Federer had a surgery on his right knee. He retired for the rest of the year, but then won the 2017 Australian Open, the first official tournament to attend after six months. In the 2021 season, Federer’s most important goal is the Tokyo Olympic playground, where he is looking for the only missing gold medal in the collection. “Express train” will turn 40 years old in August 2021 and do not want to be too risky with your own health.