Andre Sa, the Australian Open director of player relations, has claimed that Roger Federer withdrew from the Australian Open due to his family and quarantine worries, rather than injury.
The 39-year-old has not played a competitive match since the 2020 edition of the tournament in Melbourne, having since gone undergone two knee surgeries and missed the remainder of the Covid-19-hit season.
Those competing in the Australian Open will not be exempt from coronavirus quarantine upon arrival Down Under, and Sa believes the strain on Federer's wife and four children was the real reason behind his withdrawal.
'It's a team huddle!' - Team Europe take coaching to next level with Zverev
- Technicality forces Kyrgios out of ATP Cup ahead of Australian Open
- 'Federer like Jordan, Nadal like LeBron' - Berrettini
- ATP Cup - Who's playing? What's the format? Who will win?
“The main reason was the quarantine,” Sa told Ace BandSports.
“I talked to him a month ago and he had two options. He could come with the whole family and quarantine.
“The problem is that Mirka (Federer’s wife) and her children couldn’t leave the room. They would have to stay 14 days in the room.
Tennis in 2020: Naomi Osaka, Iga Swiatek lead the way in unique season
“The exception is only for players. He could go out, train, and come back, but the family couldn’t. Mirka did not approve the idea.
“The other option would be for him to come alone. Only there would be at least five weeks away from family and children.
“And then he said, ‘Dude, 39, four kids, 20 Grand Slams. I am no longer in time to be away from my family for five weeks.'”
'I don't think his hands are that good' - Zverev coaches Ruud mid-match
'It's special, awesome to see' - Laver and Federer get standing ovations at Laver Cup