Roger Federer has ruled out competing at the 2021 Australian Open as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

Federer has had two operations on his right knee in the last 12 months. He hasn’t played a Grand Slam match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Australian Open.

“Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open,” his long-time agent Tony Godsick said in a statement to the Associated Press.

“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.”

The 20-time major winner confirmed he underwent arthroscopic surgery in February, after sharing that his right knee had been bothering him for some time.

Next year’s Australian Open has been delayed by three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic and will now kick off February 8.

As recently as last week, AO tournament director Craig Tiley said he was confident Federer would play.

“He said to us that February 8 was a more suitable date for him in terms of preparing for the Australian Open,” Tiley said at the time.

However, it appears the Swiss champion just isn’t at full fitness yet.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray has been awarded a main-draw wildcard for the Australian Open as he continues his return to professional tennis.

At this year’s Open, Murray announced his intention to retire from the sport due to a long battle with a hip injury.

“His retirement was an emotional moment and seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and built himself back up to get onto the tour again, will be a highlight of AO 2021,” Tiley said.

“We wish him all the best and look forward to seeing him in 2021.”

Image: Getty Images / Chaz Niell