Roger Federer unlikely to play Australian Open because of back injury

Roger Federer is unlikely to play at the Australian Open in January due to a back injury, his coach, Stefan Edberg, has said.

A fortnight after becoming the oldest world No 1 in the sport’s history, Federer pulled out of the Paris Masters in the wake of a defeat in Madrid, saying he had a back issue.

His former compatriot Edberg, the seven-times grand slam champion, revealed to Sky Sports News at the Kooyong Classic on Friday that a decision on whether Federer plays in Melbourne would have to wait until the end of the year.

“He just needs a little more time to get over the injury,” said Edberg. “He played in Rome without the back problem so he was feeling good but just the level wasn’t right in Madrid. So he came home because of that.

“He has always played with pain but I think the last two weeks in the tournament in Madrid and then in Paris, it really hurt him. I think he was sick of it. He has had some treatments so he’s feeling a little bit better but he’s just not ready to play now.”

The 30-year-old Federer, who starts the Kooyong tournament on Saturday against David Goffin, led Switzerland to victory in the Davis Cup last month and has clinched titles at the Basel Masters, the Australian Open and Wimbledon in the past 12 months.

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