Those delectable backhands and glides across the court will not be witnessed anymore in 2016, after Roger Federer announced he will miss the Rio Olympics 2016, the US Open and the rest of the season to recover from a knee injury. Federer was one of the favourites for the gold medal in Rio, but the Swiss ace's hope of winning gold in the singles is now over.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion missed the French Open earlier this season after undergoing knee surgery, and while he made a return at Wimbledon, where he was knocked out by Milos Raonic in the semifinals, after playing some wonderful tennis, it looks like that knee problem has caught up with him.
Posting a message on his Facebook page, Federer revealed his disappointment and regret at not being able to compete in the Olympics as well as the final Grand Slam of the year in New York.
"I'm extremely disappointed to announce I will not be able to represent Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Rio and that I will also miss the remainder of the season," Federer said. "Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year."
Federer, though, said this would not be the beginning of the end for his career, insisting he plans to play on the tour for a "few years" yet.
"The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury-free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover," the Swiss maestro added. "It is tough to miss the rest of the year.
"However, the silver lining is that this experience has made me realise how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries. The love I have for tennis, the competition, tournaments and of course you, 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."
The "Big Four" era has been showing signs of coming to an end, with Rafael Nadal, Federer's great rival and a 14-time major winner, also struggling constantly with injuries. While Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, the current holders of all four Grand Slam titles, show no signs of stopping, it does look like age is catching up with their older counterparts.
Nadal has done everything he can to get fit in time for the Rio Olympics, but it remains to be seen just how fit the Spaniard is.