After a few weeks of great uncertainty, Roger Federer announced his schedule for the next month and a half. The name of the Swiss champion appeared in the official entry list of the Mutua Madrid Open, which hoped to welcome him back after the quarterfinals reached two years ago, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion decided otherwise.
The former world number 1 will in fact take part in the ATP in Geneva, the only preparation meeting before flying to Paris for Roland Garros. The second major of the season has been postponed by a week due to the delicate health situation in France, a change that seemed to open the doors to the 39-year-old from Basel.
King Roger opted instead for a picnic in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, where in 2019 he had hit the semi-finals, losing only to his eternal rival Rafael Nadal. One can imagine that Federer will then play the tournament in Halle, while his presence in Stuttgart seems to be really hanging by a thread.
Interviewed by 'Matin' in the past few hours, Geneva Open director Thierry Grin expressed his happiness for securing the participation of a legend like Federer.
Roland Garros’ rescheduling proves to be a boon for Geneva Open
“It's just exceptional; it’s our best dream come true.
Sport has suffered so much, it had to start again one day. But to relaunch with the return of Roger Federer to Switzerland, I find it a magnificent signal and a superb reward for all those who have fought to keep sport alive during this pandemic," explained Thierry Grin.
“There weren't twelve thousand possibilities of having it. The stars have aligned this year: it is a gift from heaven. With the situation of the calendar and its reprogramming, our tournament fell better and better in its desire to ramp up towards its major objectives”, added the director.
Federer took to Twitter to announce the news; his participation at Geneva means he might skip Madrid open and directly play the French Open. It was a surprising development from the Swiss, but the Geneva Open might give fans a rough estimate of his performance at Roland Garros.
His comeback at the Qatar Open a month ago was cut short in the quarter-finals by Nikoloz Basilashvili, who went on to win the tournament. In addition to the home advantage, Federer will also have the opportunity to test his fitness against a strong battlefield with the likes of Denis Shapovalov, Fabio Fognini, and Benoit Paire confirmed to play the Geneva Open.
Also, Federer’s association with his countryman Marc Rosset also helped the tournament seal the deal with the Swiss maestro this year.