Tennis superstar Roger Federer has confirmed that he will make a return to competitive action at the ATP 250 tournament in Doha next month.
This will be the first time Federer takes to the court after a 13-month absence. The 20-time Grand Slam champion announced late in 2020 that he will not be available for the Australian Open.
The last match Federer played was at the semifinals of the 2020 Australian Open, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
In an interview with Swiss broadcaster SRF, Federer said, “I thought about when and where I should come back. Australia was still a bit too early because of my knee.”
He was sad about not being able to participate at the event for the first time since the beginning of his career.
“It hurts,” he said. “It’s one of the places where I like to play.”
Federer has had trouble with both his knees in recent years. Last year, he went through two operations on his right knee. His rehabilitation following the surgery has been slower than expected.
A six-time champion in Melbourne, he won a Grand Slam for the first time in over 4 years at the Australian Open.
Federer chose this event to make his comeback as he was targeting a smaller tournament to ease himself back into action. “I wanted to make my comeback at a smaller tournament, where the stress is also a little less,” he said.
The Basel-born superstar claimed that he felt he still had enough to challenge for titles in the future, despite his advancing years. “I want to celebrate big victories once again. And for that I am ready to go the long, hard way.”