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Roger Federer Withdraws From Upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games

Tennis legend Roger Federer has withdrawn from the upcoming pandemic-delayed Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion announced his decision on Tuesday amid a recent setback with his knee, which underwent two previous operations in 2020.

"I am greatly disappointed, as it has been an honor and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland," Federer wrote in a statement shared on his verified Twitter account. "I have already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer."

Federer represented his native Switzerland during each of the Summer Games between 2000 and 2012, which included winning men's doubles Gold in the 2008 Beijing Games and men's singles Silver in the 2012 London Games.

The 39-year-old was also absent from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games due to a knee injury.

Federer competed in the Wimbledon tournament before being knocked out by Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the quarterfinal last Wednesday (July 7).

The Swiss tennis legend's last Grand Slam came in the 2018 Australian Open.

Several other notable tennis players have already decided to forego the upcoming Tokyo Olympics including fellow 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal and 23-time women's Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, among others.

Tokyo venues for the upcoming Olympic Games will be prohibited from hosting spectators.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga confirmed last Thursday (July 8) that the upcoming pandemic-delayed Summer Games would take place with a state of emergency in effect for the country's capital city, CNN reports.

The announcement was reportedly made after five Olympic and Japanese government groups responsible for the games met to discuss the event's status.

"A very heavy judgment was made," said Seiko Hashimoto with the Japanese Olympic Committee via CNN, adding that they have "no choice but to hold the Games in a limited way."

Last Wednesday (July 7), Kyodo News reported the Japanese government was expected to declare another COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo until August 22 -- which exceeds the duration of the upcoming Olympic Games -- amid a recent surge in infections, a source with knowledge of the plan confirmed.

The decision was expected to impact whether fans will be allowed to attend the event, which was already limited to 50% capacity (maximum 10,000 fans) as of last month.

A senior government official told Kyodo News that venues in Tokyo would likely remain empty, while some events will be held outside of the city, at the time of the report Wednesday.

The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 920 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, which is the largest increase since Japan's fourth wave of infections in mid-May and marked the 18th consecutive time the country saw an increase from the previous week.

Prime Minister Suga said a decision on what to do regarding a quasi-state of emergency set to expire on Sunday in 10 prefectures (including Tokyo and Osaka), as well as the ongoing state of emergency in Okinawa, will be made on Thursday (July 8).

"Infections in Tokyo are trending upward, and we will take every necessary measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus," Suga told reporters after meeting with cabinet members, including health minister Norihisa Tamura and Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of Japan's COVID-19 response.

Tokyo has been under a state of emergency three times previously since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, which has included the Japanese government banning restaurants from serving alcohol, a measure reportedly being considered again, according to sources who spoke to Kyodo News anonymously.

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