Doha Championship | He expected Roger Federer to return after more than a year of absence

(Paris) More than 400 days separate him from his last game: After 13 months without a competition and performing two operations on his right knee, Roger Federer, about 40, is back at the Doha Championships, which kicks off on Monday.


Elodie SOINARD
France Media

” we are here […] It’s been a year since I traveled to the tournament. I can tell you that I am very impatient. It’s also the right moment to thank everyone who made this possible, “Federer began with a short video taken from an airport hall and posted on his Twitter account Friday evening.

“It was a long and difficult road, and I know I haven’t reached the finish line yet. But I feel good, he’s doing very well in training sessions, and I’m excited,” he continues.

Switzerland’s last match dates back to January 30, 2020, in the Australian Open semi-final against Novak Djokovic.

Calendar Chance, his return to the ring comes the same week that the Serbian knocked him out of the record for most weeks spent in the world’s No. 1 skin (311 vs 310).

#RogerReturns

On the tennis court, his last public outing returns on February 7, 2020, during a charity event with Rafael Nadal in Cape Town (South Africa) in front of nearly 52,000 spectators, which is unprecedented for a tennis match.

Then, he had to have two arthroscopic operations on his right knee in quick succession, in February and May 2020.

If Bâlois fed the countdown on social media for a week, ATP has adopted a custom hashtag #RogerReturns for the occasion.

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Over the course of more than 20 years of his career, Federer knew no long pause.

His longest rest period before, six months between July 2016 and January 2017, after his first arthroscopy in February 2016, was in his left knee. It was especially successful for him, winning at the Australian Open on his return, and then at Wimbledon six months later.

At about age 40 – he’ll celebrate them on August 8th – how will he respond this time? All in a tennis-restricted context in the shadow of a hitherto unknown pandemic.

Shardy or Evans to start

His country week should provide the first answers. Federer, now ranked number 6 in the world, will launch it against Frenchman Jerry Chardy (64H), Or the British Dan Evans (28H), The preceding Wednesday at the earliest.

Two more Top 10, Dominic Tim (4HAnd Andrei Rublev (8H) Plus four Top 20 (Shapovalov and Wawrinka in particular), also appear in the table.

I’m sure he trained hard and over time, provided his body was in order, he would perform at the highest level again. Even though he has slightly less physical health, I would bet his talent against most of the players.

British Andy Murray

The Swiss with 20 Grand Slam titles – like his now great rival Rafael Nadal – is not returning without ambition.

“I still want to win big titles,” he said in an interview with SRF in early February, which was not surprising during Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics – where singles gold is still missing from his record – and the US Open, their priorities. While he also says he wants to “try playing clay again”.

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What is planned after Doha? Federer registered in Dubai the following week, but not for Miami, the first 1000 Masters of the season, at the end of the month.

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