Roger Federer withdraws from upcoming tournament after returning to tennis


The 20-time Grand Slam champion had not played competitively for more than a year after undergoing two knee surgeries in 2020, but won his comeback match against Dan Evans at the Qatar Open on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old was then beaten by Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili – 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 – in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Federer was due to continue his return to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on March 14, but says he stepped down to focus on training.

“It was great to be back on the [ATP Tour], loved every minute of playing Doha once again, “he wrote on Twitter.” Many thanks to the best and loyal team who helped me get here.

“I decided it was best to resume training and therefore decided to retire from Dubai next week.”

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Roger Federer was beaten by Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Qatar Open.

Focus on Wimbledon

Originally planning a return for this year’s Australian Open, the Swiss superstar was forced to withdraw from the tournament late last year.

He has since turned his attention to Wimbledon and will play in events that set him up for the grand slam in June.

Federer had previously decided not to defend his title at the Miami Open, which is due to start on March 22.

On Monday, Novak Djokovic broke Federer’s all-time record for most of the weeks he spent as the men’s world No.1.

The Serb now leads the ATP rankings for 311 combined weeks, surpassing Federer’s total of 310.

But Federer, no stranger to injury returns after recovering from previous knee surgery in 2016 to win two Grand Slam titles, insists his career is far from over.

“I hope then at Wimbledon I’m 100% and that’s when the season starts for me. Until then it’s just ‘let’s see how it goes’, at he said earlier this month.

As it stands, Federer and Nadal share the men’s record for most career Grand Slam titles (20) with Djokovic just two behind.

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