The big news is tennis is the return of Roger Federer. The Swiss, who has been off the tour for 14 months, will be back on the court this week in Doha for the ATP 500.
Federer, now 39, is not lowering his long-term expectations despite his age and his time off. The Swiss says there is more to come.
“I just feel like the story is not over yet,” Federer said in Doha. “I would like to get that high of playing against the best players, playing at the biggest tournaments, winning them, hopefully, and being in the conversation.”
He added that so far his preparation is going very well.
“At this moment, let’s see how matches go,” said Federer. “Let’s see how training goes with all the top guys.
“It is still building up to being stronger, better, fitter, faster and all that stuff. I hope by Wimbledon I am going to be 100% and, from then on, the season really starts for me. Everything until then, lets just see how it goes.
“I might surprise myself. I actually already have done in practice the past three weeks. I was surprised with how well it actually did go. But we know matches are a different animal, so right now I just take it day by day. I am happy I am back on the Tour again.”
Federer is coming off two surgeries on his right knee which is cause for concern.
“I do think the knee will dictate how the comeback is going to be, how the results will be, how long I can still keep doing this,” said Federer. “I know it is on the rare side for an almost 40-year-old to come back after a year being out and I was surprised how long it took, but I took a decision quite early with my team that I wanted to take the time, no rush to get back onto the Tour. It is important that I am injury-free, pain-free and I can actually enjoy myself out there on Tour.”
Federer is scheduled to play either Tuesday or Wednesday in Doha where he will face either Jeremy Chardy or Dan Evans in his opener.
“Expectations are really low, but I hope I can surprise myself and maybe others,” he said. “I know that people will think that the measuring stick will only be titles, trophies, finals and semifinals and I am happy that people think of me that way but, honestly, the expectations are in a completely different place for me.”
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