A double operation on his right knee knocked Roger Federer out of action for most of last season. Also due to the tragic effects of the global pandemic, the Swiss phenomenon has decided not to force recovery times and to take all the time necessary to get back to 100% shape.
The former world number 1 also missed the Australian Open 2021, giving up the trip Down Under for the first time in the last 23 editions. The 39-year-old from Basel will be back in about a week, on the occasion of the ATP 250 in Doha, which will start on 8 March in one of the most modern facilities on the circuit.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has won three titles in Qatar, the last of which was exactly ten years ago. If all goes well, King Roger should also take part in the ATP 500 in Dubai, while his presence at the Masters 1000 in Miami at the end of next month seems unlikely.
Meanwhile, Yoshihito Nishioka was a guest at an event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the game 'Pokemon Red and Green' in his country. The 25-year-old Japanese, avid collector of Pokemon cards, was asked to pair a tennis player with the hugely popular Pikachu.
Which Pokemon is Roger Federer?
“For sure, it’s going to be Roger Federer. I think men’s tennis most famous player is Roger Federer. … everyone knows Pikachu so Roger, yeah,” said Yoshihito Nishioka.
After being sidelined because of knee surgery last February, Federer didn’t play the entire 2020 season citing rehabilitation. While most expected him to compete at the 2021 Australian Open, Federer withdrew from the tournament because his recovery process was behind schedule.
Roger Federer's fitness trainer Pierre Paganini has admitted that retirement undoubtedly crossed the tennis icon's mind during his injury lay-off, but says there are no plans to call time on his career just yet ahead of his comeback next month.
"Roger only plays when he knows he can play well again. Now we all have to see how the body reacts. It is important to protect it," Paganini told the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. "You have to have done a lot by now if you want to get back on the court.
It really is not comparable to 2016. Already It's a great victory if you can get back on the court, play and then say, 'I'm fine, looking forward to the next game. At the moment it is only clear that he plays in Doha, then we will see if Dubai'"