Australian Open suffered a big blow on December 28 as Roger Federer ruled himself out for the tournament. The tennis ace is still far from achieving complete fitness after undergoing a knee injury earlier this year. Federer also missed the US Open and French Open in 2020 due to injury.
Various tennis associations have suffered losses due to the pandemic. The Grand Slam events have been played behind closed doors. In such a scenario, a player of Federer’s quality doesn’t bode well for the tournament. It remains to be seen when Federer will return from his lengthy spell out due to knee injury.
Federer’s absence will be a big blow, but there will be enough superstars for this tournament. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are expected to participate in the tournament. The Spanish tennis star has the opportunity to equal Federer’s record grand slam total during the Australian Open. Meanwhile, Djokovic will move to 18 titles if he clinches yet another Australian Open title. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev have been impressive in the last couple of years, so they are also firm challengers for this grand slam.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams will be looking to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles. Williams came agonizingly close to equalling that record in the last few tournaments. Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka will also be a big favourite for the Australian Open title.
Earlier this month, Tennis Australia had to renegotiate the broadcast deal with Nine Network due to a delay in the Australian Open. This grand slam event generally takes place in January. However, the threat of coronavirus led to a delay in the event. Tennis Australia was hopeful of delaying it by just two weeks when they were holding talks with the Australian government in November. However, the outcome for Tennis Australia from these talks was that the tournament will go ahead in February.