Roger Federer (ATP 5) counts the days that separate him from returning to the field. Absent from the circuit for more than a year, King Roger will return to play an official match next week in the Doha tournament, which saw him triumph 3 times in his career (the last in 2011). Meanwhile, the Basel champion had some fun with his social profiles, where he posted a photo of his last training before taking the plane to Qatar and among the Instagram stories he took a selfie while packing his bags, adding: “It had been a while since I had to pack”. British tennis legend Tim Henman has claimed that long-time friend Roger Federer will be hungry for success when he makes his highly-anticipated return to the court later this month at the Qatar Open. Federer has not played a competitive match for over a year after a long and painful struggle with injury in 2020, culminating in two knee surgeries that sparked rumours over the Swiss icon’s potential retirement from the sport.
Henman reflects on Roger Federer’s return
“Roger Federer’s old level is so high, he’s not going to come back just to be making up the numbers,” Tim Henman told Forbes. “He wants to be back competing to win the biggest and best tournaments. And that’s not going to get any easier as you get close to your 40th birthday. But he’s working incredibly hard, I’m sure.” The Swiss star has kept his top-five ranking despite his forced absence from the ATP circuit, and was named as the world’s highest-paid athlete last year by Forbes, proving that he is still considered by many to be one of the best and most influential sporting stars around. “For me, he’s the most mesmerizing player we have probably ever had in our sport,” added Henman. “Tennis is blessed with some huge icons of the sport and of sport. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, Serena Williams, they as big a star as you can get. So we’re fortunate, but they’re not going to be around forever. So it’s important that we do enjoy them while they’re still competing.” Henman managed to win six times against Federer in 13 attempts before retiring in 2007. All eyes will be firmly on Roger Federer when he makes his long-awaited comeback to the tour in Doha. During Federer’s absence, his main rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have equaled two of the Swiss’ greatest records. Djokovic has tied Federer’s record for most weeks spent at World No. 1, and will overtake the 39-year-old on 8 March. Nadal, meanwhile, equalled Federer’s long-standing record of most Grand Slam titles at last year’s Roland Garros.