Roger Federer is looking forward to making his Qatar Open debut in Doha this week, in what is effectively his first tournament after more than a year away. The Swiss phenom, who hasn’t set foot on the court since the 2020 Australian Open, underwent two surgeries on his right knee that kept him out for most of last season.
The first opponent on his path will come out of the challenge between Daniel Evans and Jeremy Chardy scheduled for Tuesday. The 39-year-old from Basel is the number 2 seed in Doha, while the big favorite for the title is undoubtedly Dominic Thiem.
However, the Austrian and the Swiss will have to pay attention to insidious players such as Andrey Rublev (fresh winner in Rotterdam), Roberto Bautista Agut, Denis Shapovalov and Stan Wawrinka. In the press conference before his debut against Aslan Karatsev, Thiem expressed all his admiration for the 20-time Slam champion.
Everyone is looking forward to admiring King Roger again with a racket in his hand.
“We are rivals and of course we want to beat each other during a tournament, but I still enjoy watching him play tennis so much” – admitted Thiem.
“Roger Federer is amazing, not only because of the way he plays, but also because of the image he spreads all over the world. I can’t hide that I’m a big fan, I’m very happy that he’s back on the circuit and it’s a joy for everyone to be able to admire him again.
This is the thought of all those who love tennis, combined with the hope that he will win other important titles” – he added. Both Thiem and Federer will also participate in the Dubai tournament next week.
“To be honest, I don’t have great memories related to Doha. In my first three appearances, the results were quite disappointing. In 2018, I reached the semifinals, but I couldn’t take the court against Gael Monfils. I will use Doha and Dubai as a test to gain confidence” – concluded Dominic.