'I’m glad Roger Federer’s healthy and playing again', says former No. 1

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'I’m glad Roger Federer’s healthy and playing again', says former No. 1

The presence of Roger Federer in "his" Dubai, where he often trains and where he won the ATP tournament eight times, first International Gold and then 500, between 2003 and 2019, was confirmed by the entry list issued for the most famous tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

The Swiss champion, after Doha, therefore adds this stage in the Middle East to continue his stages of returning to the fields more than a year after the last official match (semi-final of the Australian Open 2020 against Novak Djokovic).

The list of participants, however, is extremely qualified: there is also the Austrian Dominic Thiem, with a surprising choice with respect to his uses, since he has played and lost there only once, in 2015 against the Spanish Roberto Bautista Agut.

Third participation, instead, for the Russian Andrey Rublev, who last year hoisted himself up to the quarter-finals, and second for Matteo Berrettini, who in 2019 was defeated by the American Denis Kudla, at the time the Roman's sore point (who in any case beat him three times out of six).

In Italy there are also the appearances of Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego, both making their absolute debut in the United Arab Emirates. An ambitious and substantially twin schedule for the two Italian standard bearers, before flying to Miami for what, in fact, is the first Masters 1000 of the year due to the move of Indian Wells (on whose account there are no official news yet) .

In the international arena, the names of the Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the Swiss Stan Wawrinka (with whom Sinner will partner in doubles in Rotterdam), the Australian Nick Kyrgios and the French Richard Gasquet also stand out.

In a recent interview, a jovial Martina Navratilova learned the news and reacted with some humor. The 18-time women’s Grand Slam champion expressed, “I think he just wants to stay in Burj Al Arab again, but amazing!"

Navratilova on Roger Federer's return

“It’s great to see Roger Federer back, it’s about time for him sitting for over a year.

So I’m glad he’s healthy and playing again" - Martina Navratilova said. That he is coming back with an ATP 250 will ensure that he does not have to put too much pressure on himself for advancing deeper in the event.

Prior to this, there were headlines that alleged Roger was fit enough to return for Australian Open 2021 and that he decided against it because of family reasons.