A year after his last appearance on a tennis court, Roger Federer returns to competitions. The Swiss who last played in the semi-final of the 2019 Australian Open (later lost to Djokovic) returns on 8 March to Doha on clay.
A curious choice given that it is not the favorite surface of the former number one but that it was made in view of future commitments as he explained to the Swiss of SFR3: "After Doha I would like to play another tournament and then prepare for the clay by concentrating later on Halle, Wimbledon and the Olympics ”.
The Swiss had stopped following knee operations and decided, given the pandemic, not to take part in the Australian Open which will start on 8 February. The tennis player then explained: “I like to play tennis all my life.
In the last few months I have focused a lot on rehabilitation, in the treatment area. I've had to go through all of this, but I've always enjoyed it. I want to celebrate some great victories again. This is why I am ready to take the long and difficult road."
Indian player Sumit Nagal, who is accompanied only by his coach for the long trip to Melbourne, went on to talk about what he learned while competing against champions of the sport such as Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem.
Nagal pays tribute to Roger Federer
"What I learnt form him (Roger Federer) is how he understands himself and how he reads the game," Sumit Nagal said. "He'll never make the same mistake twice. He's that good."
Sumit Nagal would, in fact, love to incorporate the Austrian's intensity into his own game. "I would like to play the way he (Dominic Thiem) plays," Nagal said. "He's got a really sold backhand. He's serving very smart, and good forehand, and he's moving (great) and his intensity is very very high.
That's what I would love to have in my game. That is what I am trying to work on. What I'm lacking is probably the way he practices," the Indian added. "His intensity is very very high. He makes sure whatever he does, he does it right.
He is very disciplined on court.. We don't see him putting up any bad behavior in practice or in matches." Tennis activities resumed emphatically with the dawn of a new year. The Australian city of Melbourne is currently playing host to 6 tournaments, but everything is now in jeopardy, including the Australian Open 2021, after 1 positive COVID-19 test.
Such is the threat that the pandemic brings to society. Melbourne has been lying low in terms of Coronavirus cases. The city isn’t on high-alert as only 6 cases per day are currently being tracked. However, the organizers of the Australian Open aren’t taking things lightly, and have established a secure system equipped to prevent the virus.