A return to the field expected a year: in Doha the victory in 3 sets against Evans, then the exit from the tournament against Basilashvili after wasting a match point. It was not the results that interested Roger Federer, but the physical strength after such a long absence: a long and difficult return, with the muscles almost to be rebuilt.
Reason why the Swiss tennis player has decided to give up the next Dubai ATP to continue working and present himself in shape for the next seasonal appointments. It was 'King Roger' himself who announced it with a post on social media.
"Returning to play in the ATP Tour was great, I enjoyed every minute spent in Doha - wrote the 39-year-old on Instagram -. A big thank you to the best team, the most loyal in the world who helped me get here. I decided that it is better to go back to training and therefore I have withdrawn from the Dubai tournament next week."
Recently, World No. 9 Diego Schwartzman was incredibly complimentary of the Big 3 (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic), claiming they continue to learn even after the experience they have gained over the years.
Schwartzman on the Big 3
"Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have many things but the most important thing is that they always want to be better," Diego Schwartzman told ESPN. "(Even) today they continue to learn.
You see them train and make others better." Speaking about World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, the Argentine claimed that watching him train can be scary and that he has the desire to always do better on a tennis court. "You see him (Rafael Nadal) train and it scares you," the Argentine added.
"Because of how hard it hits the ball, it bends your racket. He always wants to be better." During the course of a long interview with ESPN, Diego Schwartzman also had words of high praise for 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
The Argentine said that you are 'at the mercy' of the Swiss maestro while playing against him and also complimented his charisma. "With Roger Federer you are at the mercy of whether he wins or loses the points.
He doesn't let you do anything," the World No. 9 said. "He has charisma, class, education, goes anywhere and greets everyone." Roger Federer has lost a match after wasting match point 23 times in his career.
For context, that is more than the combined total of Rafael Nadal (eight), Andy Murray (five) and Novak Djokovic (three). But there's a underlying circumstance to this stat that needs to be mentioned too. In a career that has spanned 23 years, Roger Federer has played 1,515 matches - which is the second-highest after Jimmy Connors' record tally.
The Swiss has been a dominant force on the tour for most of this time, meaning that a disproportionate amount of his matches would have come against the best of the lot.