World-leading tennis superstar Roger Federer was forced to bow out of the majority of the 2020 season due to a knee injury. Federer was undergoing rehabilitation for this injury when a slight setback meant he had to undergo arthroscopic surgery in the early summer.
The tennis star tweeted fans to let them know he needed to take some time out to fully recover before returning to the pro tennis season, wanting to wait until he was 100% before re-joining the circuit.
It was announced in early 2020 that the recovery period would result in Federer missing the Australian Open in 2021, with plans to return to the circuit for the Qatar open in Doha, which is scheduled to begin on March 8th. The 2020 Australian Open was the last major tournament Federer competed in and he has stated publicly his disappointment at not
being able to make the next event. However, after two surgeries, it was necessary to take an extended leave to recover fully.
Comeback in Doha
During an interview with SRF of Switzerland, Roger Federer confirmed his plans to re-enter the pro circuit at Doha at the ATP 250 event in March 2021, stating his belief that starting with a smaller tournament would provide the best opportunity to ease back into the strain of professional tournament play. He then plans to play one more tournament
before returning clay courts.
Federer has a strong history at Doha. During one of the best years of his career, he began the season by becoming only the second player to defend a title at the event, following in the footsteps of one of his heroes Stefan Edberg. Roger Federer defeated Gael Monfils without losing a set in the final round to take his 34th ATP title. He then went on to enjoy an historic season in which he won 92 matches out of 97 played and took home 12 ATP crowns and three Major titles in a single year.
For several years now, men’s pro tennis has been dominated by the big three – Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Federer is currently the world leader of the three, with a total of 20 Grand Slam titles behind him. However, he is also a good half-decade older, with his 40th birthday looming this year. Nadal, who has taken 19 Grand Slams so far, is only 34, while 33-year-old Djokovic has 17 Grand Slam titles under his belt.
Federer himself has commented to the Associated Press that it is inevitable that one or both of the men will surpass his record at some point, but he is not out of the game yet. Despite taking more than a year off for injuries, Federer is still a top candidate for taking the title at Wimbledon this year, with odds of 9/1. Djokovic is currently being billed as the 6/4 favorite to successfully defend his title at the All-England Club. Fans can find all the tennis odds at for Wimbledon and all other major tennis events for 2021.
The ATP Qatar Open
The ATP Qatar Open first ran in 1993 at Doha and has been an annual event on the ATP tennis calendar ever since. It currently forms part of the ATP World Tour’s 250 series and known as the Qatar ExxonMobil Open due to sponsorship. The event is played outdoors on hard courts and is one of only two ATP events to be held in the Middle East. Players
have selected the Qatar Open three times as the ATP Tournament of the Year. Roger Federer has won here multiple times, as have rivals Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
Roger Federer will have missed more than a year of tournament play following the announcement in February 2020 that a knee injury would temporarily suspend his participation. At that time, he and others expected Federer to be back in the game for Wimbledon the same year. A second surgery placed Federer in a longer period of recovery time, which is only just coming to an end at the start of 2021. However, changes to the tennis schedule have meant that he has missed fewer events that he may otherwise have done and re-enters the season still ranked in the top 10.
Alongside Wimbledon, Federer has stated that his primary area of focus in 2021 will be the Olympic Games, which will take place in Tokyo during the summer. Hopefully he will be back to full fitness before July, when the Games will begin. An Olympic gold medal is one honor Roger Federer has yet to achieve for a singles match, although he came close
in 2012. After reaching the final, Federer lost 3-0 to Andy Murray, gaining Team GB another gold medal and leaving Federer waiting for his next opportunity.
Federer plans to focus most of his energy this year on the Olympics, as one of the final targets left in a long and highly memorable career that has launched him to the very top of the game. Staging a comeback at a smaller but still challenging and popular tournament such as Doha will hopefully set him up for a season of success in 2021 following his year out.