Federer unlikely to play Australian Open, says coach

Tennis Federer unlikely to play Australian Open, says coach • Australia Open back on schedule for 2018 after year off

• ‘Roger does not want to be out for long, and there is still a year left’ Roger Federer trains in Brisbane during the Hopman Cup. Photograph: Shaun Best/Reuters

Roger Federer does not expect to play in the Australian Open next year, his coach said on Monday.

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Federer, who won the Australian Open for the record fifth time at Melbourne Park in January before becoming the oldest world No 1 last month, had confirmed he would play in the Hopman Cup in Perth this week before shutting down for the year.

Asked on Monday whether he expected Federer to play in the Melbourne Park, it is not expected he will, according to Martina Hingis, his wife and coach.

“I wouldn’t know,” Hingis told reporters at the Hopman Cup in Perth. “He is still resting, staying away from other things. He did a tour stop in Queensland last week which was nice. It was great.

“He went out to a private villa. It was more like a holiday. That was nice to see. I saw a picture of him going out and walking and everything like that. He is still in a great state of mind. So I am not worried.”

Federer has not played a competitive match since the Australian Open, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the final. He was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the US Open by Juan Martín del Potro and said his ranking was probably not high enough to still qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Should the 18-times grand slam champion avoid injury, Hingis said he would likely play the Qatar Open in January before he heads to the Hopman Cup event in Perth in early February.

“Roger does not want to be out for long, and there is still a year left,” Hingis said. “So he will decide probably in the next few months. But we are still keeping everything open, because we want to see how he recovers well.

“In New York it is a bit different because he plays on Friday night and then plays on Saturday, so he is pretty good rested. That was not a big problem there. So we’ll see how he does the rest of the season.”

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