Roger Federer has opted to take an extended break following his crushing five-set loss to Milos Raonic in the Wimbledon semifinals, announcing on Tuesday that he had withdrawn from next week’s Rogers Cup in Toronto. It means that the 34-year-old will not be seen back on court until the Rio Olympics, which gets underway for the tennis competitors on August 6.
“I have made the tough decision to withdraw from the Rogers Cup,” Federer said on his Facebook page. “Toronto is one of my favorite events on the calendar and I am disappointed that I won’t be able to compete in front of the great tennis fans in Canada. Looking ahead, it is best for me that I take more time after Wimbledon. I look forward to coming back to Canada next year and I wish Karl Hale and everyone at Tennis Canada a very successful tournament.”
With the announcement, Federer joins Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal in pulling out of the Masters 1000 event. If there is good news for Federer fans, it is that his statement doesn’t mention an injury. That will be a relief he suffered a hard fall in his Wimbledon defeat and later revealed he wasn’t sure whether he had done himself significant damage.
Already Federer has suffered an injury-riddled first half of the year, restricting him to playing just two of the nine Masters 1000 events – the most prestigious tournaments on the ATP Tour – in 2016. The Swiss also sat out the French Open, but looked to be back in top shape at Wimbledon, coming from two sets to love down to beat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. Another five-setter against Raonic, though, proved a step too far.
With the defeat, which followed an early exit at the All England Club for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, went another prime opportunity for Federer to add to his record-setting 17 Grand Slam titles. Yet, even though he will turn 35 during the Olympics, he continues to give no indication that he is yet considering hanging up his racket.
And there remains plenty for Federer to look forward to in the remainder of 2016. It starts with the Olympics, where Federer will be going for the one major honor to elude him in his remarkable career: an Olympic gold medal in singles. He won doubles with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008 and is set to again team up with the world No. 5 in Rio, while he has also outlined his intention to team up with Martina Hingis in mixed doubles. But the closest Federer has come to gold in singles was four years ago, when Murray forced him to accept silver after victory on the courts of Wimbledon.
In a frenetic summer, there is more than just the Olympics. The week following competing in Rio, Federer is set to take part in the Masters event in Cincinnati. There will then be just a week’s break before the final Grand Slam of the year, the U.S. Open.
While Federer’s best chance of winning another Grand Slam has long been regarded as being at Wimbledon, he has come close to winning in New York in each of the last two years. In 2014 he fell in the semifinals to Marin Cilic before last year reaching the final and tasting defeat to Djokovic in four sets.
Roger Federer Upcoming Schedule
Aug. 6 – Aug. 14: Olympic Games
Aug. 15 – Aug. 21: Cincinnati
Aug. 29 – Sep. 11: U.S. Open