Tennis superstar Roger Federer announced on Tuesday he will miss the Olympic Games in Rio along with the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion underwent knee surgery in February prior to skipping May’s French Open with a back injury.
For much of his career Federer seemed immune to the routine injuries suffered by most top athletes, until his recent knee injury which has dashed his hopes of ever winning an Olympic singles title.
"The silver lining is that this experience has made me realise how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries," said Federer, who won an Olympic doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in 2008.
"The love I have for tennis, the competition, tournaments and... the fans remains intact. I am as motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy towards coming back strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017.”
Prior to May this year, Federer had participated in 65 successive grand slam tournaments and the last time he was absent from one of the four majors was at the 1999 U.S. Open.
Martina Hingis, who just lost Federer as a mixed doubles partner in Rio: pic.twitter.com/SyU0gBtZ3O
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) July 26, 2016
When he reached the last four at Wimbledon, he won a five-set thriller in the quarter-finals against Marin Cilic.
His season-ending injury came during his semi-final defeat by Canadian Milos Raonic at Wimbledon when he landed heavily on his left knee after rolling his ankle.
Federer chose to complete the match after the fall, although he expressed concern about the potential damage to his knee.
"I just hope with the slip I had in the fifth, I'm going to be fine... I hope I didn't hurt myself," the world number three said at the time.
"Is it (the pain) a three-day thing, is it a 24-hour thing or is it more? I don't know at this point.
The Olympic association of Switzerland expressed disappointment in the withdrawal of Federer, who served as his country’s flag bearer at both the 2004 and 2008 Games, however chef de mission Ralph Stoeckli supported Federer’s decision.
“Nothing is more important for an athlete than their health. We wish Roger Federer a quick recovery and we look forward to following his outstanding career next year,” Stoeckli said in a Swiss Olympic statement.