BASEL: Roger Federer is unlikely to play in next year's Australian Open but is still determined to make a return to tournament tennis at some stage, according to his coach Ivan Ljubicic.
The 20-times Grand Slam champion has been inactive since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in July and undergoing another round of knee surgery.
Asked whether Federer would be back in action for the first major of the year in January, former world number three Ljubicic said the signs were not promising.
"I think there are very few chances, he is still recovering and knowing him, he wants to be sure he can play to win the tournament and be at 100%," the Croatian told Stats Perform.
"So I think the Australian Open is not a real possibility right now. But he will go step by step because he is 40 years old now and he needs to be patient. He cannot recover as quickly as he used to." Agencies