Roger Federer has pulled out of the Rio Olympics and will miss the rest of the season, including the U.S. Open, because he needs “more extensive rehabilitation” to prolong his career after knee surgery earlier this year.Last month he described how “one stupid move” sparked a chain of bad luck – which resulted in left knee surgery in February and sitting out the French Open with a back injury – culminating in this week’s decision to end his wretched season.“I’m extremely disappointed to announce that 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,” the record 17-time grand slam champion said on his Facebook page.“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.“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. It is tough to miss the rest of the year.”For much of his career, the former world number one had been blessed with a body that seemed bullet-proof against the aches, pains and injuries suffered by most top athletes.But one false move by the man known for his gliding footwork, while running a bath for his twin daughters following his Australian Open semi-final loss, means he would have gone a whole season without a title for the first time since 2000.Now aged 34, the announcement also probably ended the 2012 silver medallist’s 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.”KNEE TROUBLEUntil May this year, Federer had appeared 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.When he reached the last four at Wimbledon, which included winning a five-set thriller in the quarter-finals against Marin Cilic, it appeared as if Federer’s injury woes were finally behind him and his absence from the French Open was a one off.However, he was clearly rattled when he landed heavily on his left knee after rolling his ankle during the fifth set of his semi-final defeat by Candaian Milos Raonic at Wimbledon.Although Federer, who was left sprawled face down on the turf following the fall, got up to complete the match, he was worried about the long term effects on 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.“With the body that’s been playing up this year, I just hope I’m going to be fine.”It seems his worst fears were realised this week as he called time on his season after appearing in only seven tournaments and with a 21-7 win-loss record.
CANYON COUNTRY – It’s a venue for junior high P.E. classes, after-school basketball games and city athletics leagues. Located on the campus of Sierra Vista Junior High, the Boys & Girls Club facility has become a model of shared uses and, more importantly, a place for kids that’s open during the day, after school and on the weekends. On a visit to Sierra Vista earlier this year, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent David Brewer III toured the clubhouse when school was in session. Impressed by the collaboration of entities that built the clubhouse, Brewer said last week he wanted to replicate the concept in Los Angeles to promote greater safety on campuses. Brewer also said he was struck by the spirit of the partnership. “It has a huge computer lab in it, a huge gym, all kinds of activities, college-going help, college counseling, all of this going on inside of that middle school,” he said. “It’s extremely important that we partner and collaborate with the community in bringing in those resources.” “It’s a great partnership,” said Tom Dierckman, a semi-retired Valencia development company executive who spearheaded the fundraising drive to build the $6.2 million, 27,000-square-foot center that opened in 2004. “The school district has a facility they wouldn’t otherwise have, the Boys & Girls Club has programs they wouldn’t have and the city of Santa Clarita has a gym for park leagues that it wouldn’t have had. “It’s not just used nine months of the year or six hours a day.” The club, the Hart Union High School District and the city of Santa Clarita pooled their money for the clubhouse, which also features classrooms, a computer lab and a teen center. The local Boys & Girls Club Foundation also collected significant chunks of state and federal funding as well as private contributions. “At our first meeting on this project we agreed that these are our kids – not your kids during the day and my kids after school. These are our kids and our community,” said Jim Ventress, chief professional officer of the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club. “And in this community if it’s about the kids and it’s the right thing to do, somehow this community gets it done.” The Sierra Vista site is the largest of three Boys & Girls Club facilities in the Santa Clarita Valley, with 2,000 of the local chapter’s 3,500 total members. In the four years since the Sierra Vista facility replaced a small center on the edge of campus, Ventress has received calls from school districts in Northern California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Connecticut. “They all wanted to know, ‘How did you do it?”‘ Ventress said. “I just said, ‘Common sense.”‘ The community itself donated $1 million, and it’s paid off, giving kids supervision and plenty to do. For many, the option is to stay alone till their parents come home from work – and at that pivotal junior-high age, that can mean problems. An average of 240 kids, ages 7-17, visit the club daily, said branch manager John Kim. Among the employees is 2006 Youth of the Year Deandre James, who came to the club about five years ago after his mother died and he came to live with an aunt. “He wasn’t doing well in school, he had some problems adjusting,” Kim said. “But he raised his grades and became one of our model leaders.” James won a scholarship to attend College of the Canyons and continues to work at the club. The Sierra Vista branch is the local club’s third – and most complex – shared-use project. It operates a clubhouse in the county’s Val Verde Park near Castaic and has a larger center in the city’s Newhall Park. When the latter project was proposed in the mid-80s, opposition was strong from nearby residents who feared problem kids would be gathering after school in the park. Santa Clarita, with a population now pushing 200,000, was much smaller then and youth crime rare. With growth, things have changed and Ventress said the club has helped keep a lot of borderline kids out of trouble and touted the Newhall project as forward-thinking. A larger center in the Castaic area is probably the next big move, but that’s years away, Dierckman said. The club, which raised $400,000 last week at its annual auction, wants to keep a handle on operating costs before beginning a new campaign. The cushion is it owes nothing on its properties, thanks to the shared-use agreements. Dierckman said of the Sierra Vista club, “This is the poster child for the way things should be done.” Staff writer Naush Boghossian contributed to this story. email@example.com (661) 257-5251 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!