Roger Federer: 'Perhaps I surprise myself, like I did...'

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Roger Federer: 'Perhaps I surprise myself, like I did...'

Roger Federer's return to the field is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated events at the start of the season. The Swiss phenomenon has been away from the circuit for over a year now, especially thanks to the two operations on his right knee which he underwent in 2020.

The former world number 1 has renounced the Australian trip for the first time in the last 23 editions, one This choice is also the result of the strict measures imposed for the Australian Open 2021. The ATP 250 in Doha will be useful to ascertain the form of the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who will also be at the start of the Dubai tournament next week.

The 39-year-old from Basel has repeatedly made it clear that his main goals will be Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, postponed by twelve months due to the Coronavirus emergency. In the traditional press conference that precedes his debut in Qatar, King Roger took stock of his physical condition.

The Swiss does not have very high expectations for this tournament, where he has won three times.

Roger Federer is ready to play

"For me, tennis is like riding a bike, I always knew that I could play very little and still play very good," Roger Federer said.

"My biggest concern is the knee. I've had two knee surgeries, I had to build from scratch. Next 3-5 months are going to be interesting, how the knee is gonna react." The Swiss also revealed that his practice sessions had exceeded all expectations thus far, but added that he isn't expecting much from Doha.

"Let's see how matches and practices with professional players go," Federer said. "It's still building up to be better, fitter and faster, I hope I will be 100% by Wimbledon, and then the season start.

Everything else is not that important. Perhaps I surprise myself, like I did in practice for the last three weeks. If I can pull off a couple of matches here in Doha, I'll be happy. The expectations are very low. I hope I can surprise myself."

When asked for his two cents on the ‘GOAT’ debate, Federer spoke in glowing terms about Nadal’s and Djokovic’s recent feats on the tour. "I think it's a great debate to have," Federer said.

"What Novak and Rafa have done lately is extraordinary, they're not 25 either, but they seem at the peak. For them I am maybe the measuring stick, like Pete (Sampras) was for me."