After the most extended break of his career, Roger Federer will return to the court at the next week's ATP 250 event in Doha. Roger shared the picture from the practice court in Dubai, sharing news with his fans and saying he is ready to play in Doha.
The 39-year-old Swiss hasn't competed since the last year's Australian Open, struggling with a knee injury and undergoing surgeries in February and May. At first, Federer had thought he would be able to play in the second part of the previous season, changing his mind following the second surgery and deciding to skip the rest of the year and make a fresh start in 2021.
In October, the Swiss hit the practice court and went to Dubai in December, working with his coach Ivan Ljubicic and targeting the Australian Open return. 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.
Roger will seek the fourth Qatar Open crown and the first since 2011, facing Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov en route to the trophy.
Roger Federer will flight from Dubai to Doha ahead of the next week's return.
Federer has always loved to compete in Doha, winning 26 out of 29 matches after debuting in the desert in 2002.
Roger was the player to beat in Doha in 2005 and 2006 before the semi-final losses in 2009 and 2010. The Swiss claimed the third and so far the last Qatar Open crown in 2011, beating Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4 in 80 minutes.
Roger dropped only 11 points in ten service games and never faced a break point, mounting the pressure on the other side and earning one break in each set to seal the deal in straight sets. Federer picked a smaller event for the first stop on the comeback trail to ease 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 weeks and preparing himself for the first competitive match since the Australian Open semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic 14 months ago.