Tennis star Roger Federer is aiming to make his return from injury at next year's Australian Open. The 35-year-old, a four-time winner in Melbourne, endured an injury-plagued 2016 season, with lingering back issues forcing him to skip Roland Garros and break an incredible run of 65 consecutive grand slam appearances dating back 16 years.
Federer also underwent arthroscopic surgery in February to fix a torn meniscus in his left knee, an injury he actually sustained while running a bath for his twin daughters. That particular setback saw the 17-time major champion miss several key ATP Masters 1000 events, although he returned earlier in the summer and later beat Guido Pella, Marcus Willis, Dan Evans, Steve Johnson and Marin Cilic en route to reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
His hopes of triumphing for the eighth time at SW19 were thwarted by a five-set defeat by big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic – his first loss in 11 last-four contests at the All England Club – and he subsequently announced that he would be sitting out the rest of the year citing the need for "more extensive rehabilitation" following that knee procedure.
That decision means Federer was forced to withdraw from contention to lead the Swiss team at the recent Olympic Games in Rio and will play no part in September's US Open at Flushing Meadows. He will also be absent from the season-ending World Tour Finals events set to be held in London this November, but is currently on course for a New Year comeback down under.
"I'm working for the Australian Open," he was quoted as saying by the BBC in New York at the launch of the Laver Cup, where he plans to form a doubles partnership with rival Rafael Nadal in an inaugural Europe vs the Rest of the World competition to be held at the O2 Arena in Prague from 22-24 September 2017. "I'm doing well.
"I never thought I'd have a year like this. I've learned a lot from this year. It's painful being here in New York, and it was painful during the Olympics because I love competing. But you can't have it all. It was a tough decision to say the least – going out of Rio, the US Open, the World Tour Finals. But in some ways it ended up being a simple decision. Health is my number one thing."