Roger Federer is back. Or maybe he had never left. The King - despite the long period of absence from the fields: 13 and a half months - has always been present, like a silent sovereign. He returns to the ATP 250 tournament in Doha, which he has already won three times: 2005, 2006 and 2011.
And he brings his history, his beauty, the grace of every gesture of him as a dowry. Yet after more than a decade of sporting dictatorship Federer has shown his fragility. Understandable, at 39. To condition the multiple winner of Wimbledon (8 triumphs) and for the holder of 20 Grand Slam titles there were two knee surgeries, so much so that at one point there was even talk of a possible and definitive farewell (but he has always denied).
In the meantime, Novak Djokovic has ousted him from the throne, the number 1 ATP today (for the 311st week in a row: Roger had stopped at 310) is the Serbian. The new and disputed ranking system - redefined to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic - has certainly favored it, allowing it to remain in the top positions.
This will be the Swiss’s eighth participation in the Qatar tournament. The debut even 19 years ago, in 2002. "The priority was to get back to being healthy - said King Roger - I don't even know if I will be competitive"
Nobody knows. But it does him honor to get back in the game, try, raise the bar again and take another run-up, yet another life as a winner. He loaded himself like this: "I'm worried about my knee, but playing tennis is a bit like riding a bike.
And I know how to do it». And he has already planned to participate in the Dubai tournament for next week. he does not lack desire for him: «I want to play tennis all my life, and still celebrate great victories. I thought that during the break I would not have paid much attention to sports, instead I surprised myself following the results and the matches: I usually don't do it if I don't play a tournament,” he told Swiss radio SRF.
Roger Federer talks about his knee
"I'm not sure my knee will hold up," Roger Federer stated. "But I'm confident, otherwise I wouldn't be here. The knee will dictate what my comeback looks like. It sure is rare to see a 40-year-old back on tour after so much time."
Roger Federer's words seem to indicate that he hasn’t fully gotten rid of the pain in his knee, but the Swiss star stressed that everything was 'under control' Federer also believes he can play back-to-back three-setters for up to five days in his current condition.
"It is important that I am free of pain," Federer continued. "I'm curious to see how it plays out. When I wake up in the morning I feel pretty good. The pain is under control. I can play two and a half hours for five days in a row.
There are many positive things. But matches are different. When the nerves are also playing a part."