Fans from all over the world were sure to be able to witness the feats of former ATP number one Roger Federer again starting from the next Australian Open, but then the Swiss announced his withdrawal from the Melbourne event, also due to planned quarantine period in the Australian city.
The first Grand Slam of the year represents the last tournament officially played by King Roger, in which last year he was stopped in the semifinals by Novak Djokovic. Forty years to go next August, Federer has already made it known that he is betting everything on Wimbledon and the Olympics, the latter being postponed by twelve months due to the pandemic.
As for the Church Road Grand Slam, canceled in 2020, the Basel champion will certainly want to redeem the performance of a year and a half ago, when he was unable to take advantage of two match points in the final against Djokovic.
Recently interviewed by the Swiss SRF, the 20-time Major champion revealed that he will return to the ATP circuit in the Doha tournament, Qatar. He said: "I wanted to return to the Tour starting from a smaller event, so as not to be totally focused and in a place where there is less stress ."
The Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Dubai, an event won three times in Federer's career, will be staged around the middle of March. The Swiss is determined to play another tournament before the season on red: "I will try to play on clay again.
All this, of course, in view of Halle, Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open." Roger therefore concluded: “I enjoy playing tennis all my life. In the last few months I have focused a lot on rehabilitation, in the treatment area.
I've had to go through all of this, but I've always enjoyed it. I want to celebrate some great victories again. This is why I am ready to take the long and difficult road."
Rafael Nadal: "I'm not obsessed with records"
"I know that in some ways they are stupid rituals," began Nadal.
"On the other hand, I don't do these things in training or in normal life. They allow me to mark the distinction between matches and training sessions. When I do all of these routines, I feel 100% focused on what I am doing.
The routines help you stay focused on the goal and also make you more confident," he added. Rafa took the opportunity to praise his great rivals Federer and Djokovic: "Records are important, I'm a competitive person, but I've never been obsessed with having to be the best.
I've done a lot more than I ever dreamed of in my career. Federer, Djokovic and I have done good things for ourselves and for tennis in general. Having someone in front of you who express themselves on such high levels gives you a clear clue as to what you need to do to improve."
The first Grand Slam of the new tennis season is approaching: finally fans, media and insideres will be able to admire the greatests tennis stars on the planet, like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and all the others, who will come back for the upcoming Australian Open 2021, which will be held in Melbourne from 8 February.
It will be the most awaited sports event of the first part of the new season. It will be a very spectacualr season, and all of us hope without the problems of the last one, with some presence of the crowd in the courts across the world.
Roger Federer, after he said he will not play the Australian Slam, should come back on the court, for the joy of his fans di lui, at the end of February or at the beginning of March.