Roger Federer: ‘I would have loved my family to be here but…’

Just over 24 hours to go and 20-time Grand Slam title winner Roger Federer will be back on the pitch. After a long absence of fourteen months with the Swiss absent, due to a double knee surgery and the pandemic, from the semifinal of the Australian Open 2020, Federer will challenge tomorrow the winner of the match between Jeremy Chardy and Daniel Evans, debut all ‘anything but easy for an athlete who has been standing still for so long. During the press conference in Doha Roger Federer declared that he was 100% ready for the next edition of Wimbledon, a tournament that he has won 8 times. The last memory of him at the All England Club is not positive, however, given that Federer in 2019 had two match points but in the end he did not exploit them and was defeated in five sets by the eternal rival, world number one Novak Djokovic. In this regard, the Swiss commented: “I hope to be 100% for Wimbledon, everything else does not count. In the last few weeks, especially the last 3, I was surprised at how well it went.”

Roger Federer on his comeback in Doha

Roger Federer actually holds a great record in Doha, Qatar. He is a three-time champion there, and the warmer conditions in the outdoor courts play well for his comeback. “I have played well here in the past, enjoyed coming here. It’s outdoors. The weather’s on the warmer side. Australia was too soon, so it just ended up being the perfect place for a comeback,” Federer said in an interview with beIN Sports. Federer has good relations with the tournament director of Qatar Open, Kareen Alami, which certainly played a part in his plan to return to the tour here. Their playing days go way back to the 2000s when a 19-year-old Federer played a 27-year-old Kareen in the Sydney Olympics. So this is also a reason that prompted Federer’s return to Doha. “You know I know the tournament director, Kareem Alami. Also, a longtime friend of mine played against him at the Sydney Olympics back in 2000. So we go way back I don’t know I just felt like this is a good place to come back for me. And I would have loved my family to be here but with bubble life, unfortunately, that is not possible so we go through it together as a team which is, which is a good thing.” Roger Federer’s much-awaited comeback match will be against his frequent training partner. Federer faces Britain’s Dan Evans in the second round of the 2021 Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Wednesday. Evans overcame the challenge of Jeremy Chardy in his first-round match on Tuesday, prevailing 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. The Brit conceded a mammoth 18 break points against Chardy, but managed to save 16 of them with some clutch tennis.