The 29th edition of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open takes place at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha in the second week of March, moving from its usual place in the calendar at the beginning of the season.
Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Novak Djokovic have all won the title in Doha in the past, with Andrey Rublev becoming the champion in January 2020.
In two weeks, Dominic Thiem, Gael Monfils, Roberto Bautista Agut and Stan Wawrinka will chase the Doha crown, alongside the three-time winner Roger Federer! The Swiss maestro returns to action for the first time since the last year's Australian Open, struggling with a knee injury and experiencing the most extended break of his career.
Federer underwent surgeries in February and May and decided to skip the rest of the season and focus on 2021. In October, the Swiss hit the practice court and went to Dubai in December, working with his coach Ivan Ljubicic and getting ready for the Australian Open.
Roger Federer returns to action in the second week of March in Doha.
The 20-time Major champion couldn't recover in time for the season's first Major, skipping Melbourne for the first time since 1999 and announcing the ATP 250 event in Doha as his return point.
Federer will battle for the Doha crown for the first time since 2012, when he gave Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a walkover ahead of their semi-final clash. Roger's most recent Doha title came ten years ago when he toppled Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4 in 80 minutes, dropping only 11 points in ten service games and never facing a break point to mount the pressure on the Russian.
Davydenko lost serve once in each set to hand the trophy to Federer, who picked a smaller event for the first stop on the comeback trail to ease off the pressure and avoid the spotlight. If everything goes right, Roger will compete in Dubai a week after Doha, training there for the last couple of days and preparing himself for the first competitive match since the Australian Open semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic 13 months ago.