There are still a few days left for Roger Federer to return to the field. The former world number 1 will participate in the ATP 250 in Doha next week, finally breaking the abstinence of his many fans around the world. The last official appearance of the 20-time Grand Slam champion dates back to the Australian Open 2020, where he almost miraculously reached the semifinals, before undergoing a double knee surgery that ended his season.
The Swiss phenomenon has also decided to skip the Australian Open 2021, thus giving up the trip Down Under for the first time in the last 23 editions. The 39-year-old from Basel, who will make his Qatar debut on Monday or Tuesday, has retained a spot in the very first positions thanks to the new ranking system introduced to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
In a recent interview with Eurosport, former player Rainer Schuettler expressed his opinion on the Maestro's imminent return. The former world number 5, who has faced King Roger four times, stressed that nothing will affect the status acquired by the King.
Schuettler on Roger Federer
"What Roger Federer has achieved and achieved in his career will always remain outstanding," Rainer Schuettler said. "He has broken so many records and won tournaments that even a few defeats would not change that."
Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has shared his thoughts on Tour mate Roger Federer’s comeback next week. The 20-time Grand Slam winner, who has been away from competitive tennis for over a year since undergoing knee surgery, will return to action at the ATP Doha event later this month.
On whether he has “sympathy” for the Swiss ace, given that he has been out for 13 months amid growing chatter around his future in the game, Murray said that he does appreciate, from his own experiences, how difficult it must have been for the 39-year-old to regain full fitness.
“I think obviously, he’s gone through, you know, a difficult time for the last year and had the second knee surgery and stuff. So yeah, like from that aspect,” said the Scot, in his response to the “sympathy” question.
“I would imagine that Roger would be the same and I’m sure he’s been training hard, he’s excited to get back out there and compete,” Murray said, adding that “he doesn’t need any advice”.
He added that once Federer puts his body through the rigors again and feels good about himself, he will play “top-level tennis again” as he is “that good”.