Roger Federer out until next year following second knee surgery

Twenty-time Grand Slam singles champion Roger Federer said yesterday that he will be sidelined until next year, after undergoing his second knee operation in a matter of months.

The 38-year-old Swiss said he underwent follow-up arthroscopic surgery "a few weeks ago" after undergoing a similar keyhole procedure in February.

Federer, whose last Grand Slam win was the 2018 Australian Open, said he "experienced a setback during (his) initial rehabilitation".

"I plan to take the necessary time to be 100 per cent ready to play at my highest level," he said in a statement on Twitter.

"I will be missing my fans and the Tour dearly, but I will look forward to seeing everyone back at the start of the 2021 season."

The announcement is likely to renew speculation about retirement for Federer, who holds the record for men's Grand Slam singles titles and last month topped Forbes' list of the world's highest earning athletes.

Federer, who won his first Major in 2003, lies just ahead of his long-time rivals Rafael Nadal (19) and Novak Djokovic (17) on the all-time list.

The biggest title he has yet to win is an Olympic gold. The Tokyo Games - seen as his final chance to complete a career "golden" Grand Slam - have been postponed until next year because of the pandemic. - AFP