Roger Federer made his long-awaited return to the field at the Qatar Open in Doha last week, but failed to make it past the quarter-finals by yielding to Nikoloz Basilashvili. The Swiss phenomenon, who also wasted a match point in the third set, has shown that he has not lost his magic touch, even if he will have to improve a lot physically to have a chance at Wimbledon.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has chosen to skip the ATP 500 in Dubai by opting for an additional training block, waiting to see him on the clay court again. The former world number 1, whose forfeit in Miami had been announced for some time, does not appear in the entry list of the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, leaving an aura of mystery about what will be his programming.
Jean-Francois Caujolle, director of the ATP 250 in Marseille, believes that the 39-year-old from Basel still has the motivation to aim for the most important titles. King Roger would also like to win the gold medal in singles in Tokyo, so as to fill in one of the very few empty spaces in his exceptional showcase.
Caujolle on Roger Federer's return
"Why not? Roger Federer is just amazing," Jean-Francois Caujolle said. "He is as excited as when he was 17 years old so he can win on grass if he is totally fit."
Federer's exit at that stage came as a surprise to the Marseille tournament director, who remarked that the 39-year-old could've gone all the way at the 250-level tournament. "I also thought he could have beaten Nikoloz Basilashvili in Doha and gone far.
He is so good for tennis," Jean-Francois Caujolle went on. Jean-Francoise Caujolle also weighed in on the controversial decision of giving Stefanos Tsitsipas' brother, Petros Tsitsipas, a wildcard at the Marseille event.
"The wildcard awarded to Petros is in thanks to the Tsitsipas family, who support the tournament," Caujolle said. "You should know that Stefanos's appearance fee is twice less than the one he could have taken elsewhere."
The 2021 tennis season has gotten off to a running start with some sensational encounters so far. However, some sad news has materialized for the fans excited about the big tournaments coming up ahead. Chiefly, the Swiss maestro Roger Federer and Canadian star Denis Shapovalov have withdrawn from the Monte-Carlo Masters 2021.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion from Switzerland has not played the tournament since making a comeback in 2016. Moreover, it is also one of the titles missing from the 39-year-old’s cabinet to date. Also, watching Federer on a clay court is a one-of-a-kind experience.
But Federer seems to be looking forward to preparing for his favorite part of the year, the grass-court season.