Roger Federer won’t be participating in the Australian Open later this month, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion has settled on a 2021 date in which he plans to return to tennis. On Tuesday, Federer announced that he is aiming to come back at Doha’s Qatar Open — which he has one three times — in March.
The Swiss tennis star had two knee surgeries in 2020 and hasn’t played since the 2020 Australian Open last January, when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
“I want to celebrate great victories again and for that I’m ready to go the long, hard road,” Federer, 39, told Swiss broadcaster SRF.
The long, hard road is set to begin soon, as the Qatar Open runs from March 8-13.
“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 also revealed that his goals 2021 include participating in both Wimbledon and the Olympics. Wimbledon — which Federer has won eight times — was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Olympics are set to being in late July, though there have been mixed reports on if the games will actually take place.
Federer has had knee issues throughout his career and they are the culprit for him currently being sidelined. He underwent surgery for a torn meniscus back in 2016 and missed the Dubai and Indian Wells Open that season before ultimately returning for the Miami Open.