Roger Federer plans to play his first tennis tournament since January 2020 and two right knee surgeries at a lower-level ATP event in Doha in March.
“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,” according to a Tennis.com translation of a Federer video interview with SRF in Switzerland. “I want to celebrate great victories again. And for that I am ready to go the long, hard road.”
Federer, 39 and the joint male record holder with 20 Grand Slam singles titles, announced in December that he would miss the Australian Open as he builds back up from right knee surgeries last winter and spring.
His last tournament was the 2020 Australian Open, where he lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
Since, Rafael Nadal won his 13th French Open and 20th Grand Slam singles title to tie Federer’s record.
Now, Nadal will break Federer’s record if he wins either the Australian Open, which starts Monday, or the French Open in May and June.
In the SRF interview, Federer didn’t rule out playing in the French Open this year ahead of Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the U.S. Open.
“I will also try to play on clay again,” Federer said, according to a Forbes translation.
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