Roger Federer is set make his return to competitive tennis after 13 months at the Qatar Open on Wednesday, taking on Dan Evans.
The 39-year-old hasn’t played a match since a semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January 2020 and acknowledged it was unusual for a player of his age to return after injury.
Federer, who underwent two knee surgeries in 2020, added: “The important thing is I’m pain free and injury free. I’m very happy to be back playing a tournament – I never thought it was going to take this long.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who has 103 career titles to be just six back from Jimmy Connors’ record, said that the complications that followed his two knee surgeries motivated him to get back in form.
Federer will turn 40 in August and said that he was hoping to be back to “100 percent” for Wimbledon in June but had not taken decisions on tournaments before then or the Tokyo Olympics.