Roger Federer's sad announcement after loss in comeback event

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Roger Federer, pictured here speaking at a press conference.
Roger Federer has announced his withdrawal from the ATP 500 event in Dubai. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Roger Federer has left fans gutted after announcing his withdrawal from next week's ATP 500 event in Dubai.

Playing in his first tournament in 14 months at the Qatar Open this week, the Swiss legend was beaten in the quarter-finals by Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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It was just the second match in his comeback event after beating Dan Evans in three sets on Wednesday.

While Federer was scheduled to play in Dubai next week, the 20-time grand slam champion announced later on Thursday that he's withdrawn.

"It’s been great to be back on the ATP Tour, loved every minute playing in Doha once again," he wrote on Twitter.

"A big thank you to the best and loyal team that helped me get here.

"I’ve decided it’s best to go back to training and as a result, I’ve decided to withdraw from Dubai next week."

After waiting over a year to see Federer back in action, fans were understandably disappointed they won't get to see more of him.

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Earlier on Thursday, great rival and fellow 20-time grand slam champ Rafael Nadal also announced he will not be playing in Dubai.

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Federer aiming to be fully fit for Wimbledon

Federer admitted his goal was to be "100 percent" back in business by the time Wimbledon rolls around.

The 39-year-old squandered a match point by Basilashvili in his first tournament since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals in January 2020.

Federer, who underwent two knee surgeries last season, secured the first set against the Word No.42 but eventually wilted and lost the quarter-final 6-3, 1-6, 5-7.

"I might be better earlier, that would be a bonus and that means I'm at 100 percent before Wimbledon," said Federer when asked if he was targeting the All England Club because that was the earliest he anticipated being back at full strength.

"I'll just see how much workload the body and the knee still take and what's the best way to prepare all the way for basically the beginning of the season for me, which is the grass court season."

Roger Federer, pictured here after his loss to Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Qatar Open.
Roger Federer waves to the crowd after his loss to Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Qatar Open. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)

Federer has won eight of his 20 majors at Wimbledon.

He was agonisingly close to a ninth in 2019 when he had two championship points in an epic five-set final loss to Djokovic.

"I've come from so far away that I'm actually happy that I was able to play back-to-back three set matches against top players," said Federer, a former World No.1 now down at six in the rankings.

"That's an important step forward for me. I know that I'm still building up, this is a stepping stone."

Looking ahead, Federer also said that he had not taken decisions on tournaments before Wimbledon or the Tokyo Olympics but hinted that he would likely be at Roland Garros.

"What comes before the grass courts are the clay courts. So from that standpoint, I have no choice but to play on clay if I want to play matches," he added.

"It could be good for me, the clay. It could be bad for me, the clay. So I will only know in practice, but I don't think it's going to be bad, to be honest."

with agencies

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