The last year and a half has truly been a nightmare for everyone, mainly due to the outbreak of the pandemic around the world. If there is a player who more than others would like to reset everything, it is undoubtedly Nikoloz Basilashvili.
The Georgian talent has been the victim of an inexorable decline since the beginning of 2020, also due to a legal dispute with his ex-wife which has even ended up in court (with serious accusations against the tennis player).
The 2021 season seemed to have started along the lines of the previous one, until Basilashvili faced Roger Federer in the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open in Doha last month. Taking advantage of a 'light' version of the 20-time Grand Slam champion, returning to the tour after a long time, Niko won in three sets after having canceled a match point in the third set.
That victory gave Basilashivili the boost needed to take the title. In a recent interview, the 29-year-old from Tbilisi admitted that the exploit against the King marked a turning point for him.
Basilashvili on his win over Roger Federer
“Beating Roger Federer, my idol, after having started the tournament well was a click, a sign, almost a resurrection.
Considering the times I have lived since the "recovery", it was a real shock. It meant that I was able to play a really good level again under the pressure and the "spotlight" It also allowed me to relax, to be less tense.
So I played very relaxed. That's why I had two very good games afterwards against Fritz and in the final against Bautista Agut. I will remember that week for a very long time, that’s obvious" - Nikoloz Basilashvili explained.
Organizers of the Geneva Open, an ATP 250 series event, are hopeful that Roger Federer will take part in their tournament this year. After the cancelation of the tournament last year due to the pandemic, 2021 will mark the sixth edition of the Geneva Open since its return.
Roger Federer has played only one event - the Qatar Open in Doha last month - since the 2020 Australian Open. He is on the official entry list for the Madrid Masters in early May, but not on the entry list for the Rome Masters the following week.
Roger Federer has never played the Geneva Open but has dominated the Swiss Indoors event in Basel, winning it 10 times thus far. And Geneva tournament directors Thierry Grin and Rainer Schuttler recently claimed they have been in touch with Federer for a long time to get him to play in the country's claycourt event too.