Roger Federer announces return to tennis after Australian Open withdrawal

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Roger Federer, pictured here at the Australian Open in 2020.
Roger Federer speaks to the media at the Australian Open in 2020. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

Roger Federer has announced his plans to return to the ATP Tour at the ATP 250 tournament in Doha in March.

The Swiss legend left fans gutted recently when he announced he would not be coming Down Under to play the Australian Open, saying he hasn’t fully recovered from knee surgery.

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The 39-year-old, who is tied with Rafa Nadal on 20 grand slam titles, hasn’t played a competitive match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Melbourne Park semi-finals last January.

So fans were left overjoyed on Tuesday when Federer confirmed his plans for a return.

Federer said he is hoping to make his comeback from double knee surgery in 2020 by competing at a smaller stress-free tournament than the Australian Open.

Federer’s agent Tony Godsick said in December he was looking to build a playing calendar for the Swiss star from late February onwards.

Swiss broadcaster SRF reported Federer could return at the ATP 250 tournament in Doha from March 8-13, an event he has won three times.

“I want to celebrate great victories again. And for that I’m ready to go the long, hard road,” Federer told SRF.

“I've been thinking about when and where to come back for a long time.

“I wanted to make my comeback at a smaller tournament so that I wasn't fully in focus and where the stress is also a little less.”

Federer said he has been keeping on eye on results on the ATP Tour as worked his way back to fitness.

“I actually thought that I would not follow the sport very much and would be more busy with my children and my rehab,” Federer added.

“I was surprised that I kept checking results and watching matches.

“And normally I don't do that at all if I don't take part in a tournament.”

Roger Federer, pictured here in action against Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Australian Open.
Roger Federer in action against Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Australian Open. (Photo by Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Roger Federer puts family first

In January it was reported that as well as his recovery from knee surgery, one of Federer’s other concerns about the Australian Open was having to put his family through quarantine.

On Tuesday he admitted he’s always thinking about his family and whether or not they’ll be able to travel with him.

“Australia was a touch too early because of my knee. That hurts. It’s one of the places where I love to play the most,” he said.

But he also admitted he doesn’t want to “pathologically stay on the tour” to the detriment of wife Mirka and their four children.

“I want to be able to go skiing with the children and with Mirka,” he said.

“Or go hiking, play basketball or start ice hockey - I still have so many dreams.

“For that I need a good body and I don’t want to hit it against the wall.”

Fans took to social media to celebrate the prospect of Federer’s return.

with AAP

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