Going by a news report monitored by the AFP, Roger Federer is targeting the Doha Open in March for his comeback after over a year on the sidelines recovering from two knee operations, the 20-time Grand Slam champion said on Tuesday.
The 39-year-old Swiss has been out of action since February 2020 and shelved plans in December to compete in the Australian Open, which makes a delayed start next week.
It will be the first time Federer has missed the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne. In an interview with Swiss radio SRF, he said he now felt ready to begin his season in the tournament in Qatar which begins on March 8.
“For the first time I’ve got the feeling that my knee is once again ready for competition,” said Federer, who has set Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics as his main objectives for 2021.
Federer’s last appearance was a year ago in the Australian Open semi-final to eventual winner Novak Djokovic. “This is my first attempt to return to a tournament. So it’s important for me, for my team, that it’s a minor event, and not a major, with all the stress that involves.
“I have to be ready, mentally and physically, to last five matches in five days,” added the Swiss great.
The current world number five is missing only one major trophy in his long and decorated career, the Olympic singles gold medal, having claimed doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008, and singles silver at the 2012 London Games. Since his 20th and last Grand Slam victory in Melbourne in 2018, he has only made it to win major final, at Wimbledon in 2019 where he succumbed to Djokovic despite having two match points.