Even before his official return after more than a year of absence, Roger Federer has already decided to cancel himself from the Miami Open, the first Masters 1000 of the 2021 season scheduled at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens from 22 March.
His name had obviously been automatically added to the entry-list since the Miami Open is a "mandatory" tournament for those entitled to the ranking, but the Swiss champion has made it known that he only wants to play the two Middle East tournaments in Doha and Dubai before the clay season.
The news was leaked on Monday morning by Swiss RTS journalist Isabelle Mussy, and was confirmed in the following hours by the player's agent Tony Godsick. In this way Federer will certainly lose the 1000 points he won with the victory in the Miami Open 2019 and in all probability he will lose a position against Stefanos Tsitsipas sliding to sixth place in the ATP ranking.
However, it must be remembered that Federer still remains at number 5 in the ranking by virtue of the "two-year" system introduced following the cancellation of more than five months of the season in 2020 due to the pandemic.
In the absence of this change, the Swiss champion at this moment would be without a ranking as he has been out of competition for more than 12 months. If Roger Federer was ever worried that he would be too old-fashioned for the centennials, he only needs to listen to 17-year-old Holger Rune.
In a recent interview, Rune revealed that his biggest goal is to become like Roger Federer - a multiple Grand-Slam winning World No. 1.
Rune pays tribute to Roger Federer
"The idea is to qualify for the main draw of the French Open and I think I have a great opportunity to score points here to get closer to the goal of qualifying," Holger Rune said.
"Then by the end of the year I would like to get into the top 100. It's a big step, but I think I can do it. My dreams are to win several Grand Slams, reach No. 1 and be like Roger Federer." Holger Rune has already had the chance to meet and train with Roger Federer.
Rune was among a select group of youngsters invited to the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, to act as sparring partners for the top eight players in the world. "He is my greatest idol and my favorite player," Rune said. "He's an excellent player and he's also a great person off the court.
I had the opportunity to train with him, chat after training and it was a great experience that I will not forget."