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Qatar Open: Roger Federer pain-free earlier than return from damage, says retirement ‘was by no means thought of’

The 39-year-old has not appeared in a match since a semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic on the Australian Open in January 2020 and admitted it was uncommon for a participant his age to return after a damage.

File picture of Roger Federer. AP

Doha: Roger Federer stated retirement was by no means actually an choice throughout his battle with an damage, insisting on Sunday that the ache was “utterly underneath management” forward of his return to aggressive tennis at this week’s Qatar Open.

The 39-year-old has not appeared in a match since a semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic on the Australian Open in January 2020 and admitted it was uncommon for a participant his age to return after a damage.

“I do know it’s uncommon for a 40-year-old to return after a 12 months of absence,” he stated throughout a press briefing within the Qatari capital, Doha.

“The necessary factor is that I haven’t got any accidents or ache. I am very blissful to come back again to play a event – I by no means thought it could take so lengthy.”

On his rivalry with Rafael Nadal and Djokovic, who this week surpassed his 310-week file as world primary in males’s tennis, Federer stated “it is a huge debate to have”.

“I feel what Novak and Rafa have been doing these days is wonderful – they are not 25 both,” he stated with a smile.

“Novak did it in Australia, Rafa did it to the French – they appear to be of their prime, which is nice for tennis and for debate.

“My concern is my very own well being, my very own sport (extra) than the file.

“The blokes are unreal, I hope they preserve going and may do no matter they need – you wish to depart the sport with no regrets, and in that regard, all of us sleep very nicely at evening.”

Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam title winner, stated that whereas “expectations are actually low” for his marketing campaign in Qatar, he hopes to shock himself.

“Clearly I am assured in any other case I would not put myself on this scenario,” he stated forward of his first sport on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“In a imaginative and prescient, I see myself with the trophy,” he added with fun.

Federer stated issues following his knee surgical procedure motivated him to get again into form.

“What I knew was whether or not I got here again or not, for my life I needed to do that rehab anyway,” he stated.

“I really feel like there may be nonetheless one thing – retirement has by no means actually occurred. I do not thoughts rehab.”

Trying forward, Federer stated he hoped to be again to “one hundred pc” for Wimbledon in June however had not decided on tournaments till then or the Olympics.

“He is nonetheless getting fitter, higher, quicker,” he stated.

“I will see about Dubai … then we’ll see the clay season.”

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