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Roger Federer withdraws from Tokyo Olympics after setback with surgically-repaired knee

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Former No. 1 Roger Federer has pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics tennis event, citing a setback during his recent Wimbledon quarterfinal run with a knee that was surgically repaired last year.

In an announcement posted to Twitter, Federer said he had begun rehab with hopes of rejoining the ATP Tour “later this summer,” which would presumably include trying to play the U.S. Open.

“During the grasscourt season, I unfortunately experienced a setback with my knee, and have accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games,” Federer wrote. “I am greatly disappointed, as it has been an honor and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland."

An Olympic gold medal in singles is the only major prize in tennis that Federer, who will turn 40 in August, never won.

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He was runner-up to Andy Murray in the 2012 Games played at Wimbledon and lost a shocker to American James Blake in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Games, though he did win gold for Switzerland in doubles with Stan Wawrinka that year.

Federer was the heavy favorite to win Gold in Athens in 2004 but was upset by Tomas Berdych in the second round.

There had been some hope that Federer would play in the Tokyo Games, particularly after leaving Nike to sign an apparel deal with Japanese company Uniqlo in 2018. But Federer has been conservative with his schedule since returning from injury and built his season to try and compete at Wimbledon, where he was an eight-time champion.

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Roger Federer advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals before falling to Hubert Hurkacz on July 7.
Roger Federer advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals before falling to Hubert Hurkacz on July 7.

After a lopsided loss to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals, Federer was non-committal about his plans to play both in the short- and long-term.

Federer’s withdrawal continues a trend of top men’s players who announced they will not go to Tokyo, including Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov. After winning Wimbledon to complete the third leg of the calendar year Grand Slam on Sunday, No. 1 Novak Djokovic said he was 50-50 on the Olympics, citing no fans being able to attend and the significant restrictions in Tokyo due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the women’s side, No. 4 Sofia Kenin, No. 5 Bianca Andreescu and No. 16 Serena Williams have already pulled out of Tokyo.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Roger Federer withdraws from Tokyo Olympics citing setback with knee