Before COVID, Roger Federer was used to moving around for tournaments with his inseparable wife Mirka and the two pairs of twins, who are now six and eleven years old respectively, complete with support staff. The restrictions linked to Covid require the presence of only two travel companions at the moment for the sample.
Furthermore, the whole "Federer clan" should undergo two weeks of quarantine, upon arrival overseas, in which you can only go out for five hours a day, always following very strict rules. In this scenario, there is also the real risk of not being able to choose their own accommodation, but of having to be addressed by the tournament organizers.
A situation that complicates Federer's plans, who has therefore decided to postpone his return to the field. Of course this situation could also recur in other tournaments, but the hope is that the situation will improve.
Certainly the Australian absence also represents an opportunity for the Swiss to make a virtue of necessity and take advantage of a longer period of time to further improve their physical condition. It is therefore difficult to establish with certainty the timing for returning to the tennis courts, even if at the moment there do not seem to be big doubts about Wimbledon scheduled for next June (a tournament in which he has always played, and which he has won on 8 occasions) and then on the Tokyo Olympics.
Indeed, the "maestro" does not want to waste the opportunity to win Olympic gold, a title that is missing from his exceptional showcase. Former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek recently asserted that the doors of the Rotterdam event will always be open for Federer.
Krajicek on Roger Federer's return
"Roger Federer knows that he is always welcome here," Richard Krajicek said. "Usually with the Big 3, you wait for the manager to contact you to indicate that they want to play.
But I can drop an email just in case." The Dutchman is aware that it may be too early for Federer to make a commitment just yet, or that he may choose to make his comeback in the Middle East. "If he already knows that February 8 will be too early, how can he know that he will make it to March 1? Even though best of 3 sets are quite different from best of five, in the Grand Slams," Krajicek said.
"He also likes to play in Dubai. And after Rotterdam it is now Doha and Dubai, Federer can also make that choice," he added. At the ABN AMRO event in Rotterdam, Federer has posted a 28-6 record, having won the title on three occasions.
He last won there in 2018, a run during which he also reclaimed the No. 1 ranking. At Doha, usually held in the first week of the season, Roger Federer has a 26-3 lifetime record. He has won three titles in the Arab city, although the last time he competed there was way back in 2012.
It remains to be seen when and where Roger Federer eventually makes his much-awaited comeback. But it is fairly certain that he will do so at a tournament he is very comfortable playing in.