Roger Federer hasn't played an official match since the 2020 Australian Open semi-final, lost in three sets to future winner Novak Djokovic. After the charity show with Rafael Nadal in Cape Town, the Swiss phenomenon underwent two surgeries on his right knee that kept him stationary for the rest of the season.
The former world number 1 also renounced the Australian Open 2021, also prompted by the strict measures imposed by the local government to make the Down Under trip possible. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who has already targeted Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics in the summer, will make his return to Doha next week.
It will be one of the most anticipated events of this early 2021. Tim Henman, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon on four separate occasions, recently spoke about King Roger's chances in a long interview with Forbes.
Thanks to the new ranking system to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, Federer has retained a place in the very first positions.
Henman talks about Roger Federer
“Roger Federer's old level is so high, he's not going to come back just to be making up the numbers,” Tim Henman told Forbes.
“He wants to be back competing to win the biggest and best tournaments. And that's not going to get any easier as you get close to your 40th birthday. But he's working incredibly hard, I'm sure”. Federer is widely regarded as one of the finest talents to have ever stepped onto a professional court, having scooped nearly every accolade since making his debut in 1998.“For me, he's the most mesmerizing player we have probably ever had in our sport,” added Henman.
“Tennis is blessed with some huge icons of the sport and of sport. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, Serena Williams, they as big a star as you can get. So we're fortunate, but they're not going to be around forever.
So it's important that we do enjoy them while they're still competing”. Henman managed to win six times against Federer in 13 attempts before retiring in 2007. The impending return of the biggest star in tennis will be a welcome boost for the sport after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
With back-to-back appearances planned in Doha and Dubai, Roger Federer's participation in Miami was always dicey. The 20-time Grand Slam champion would not have wanted to play three tournaments in three weeks this early into his comeback, so his withdrawal from the Miami Masters is not entirely a surprise.