Roger Federer withdraws from Miami Open, will continue to train
Swiss maestro Roger Federer has pulled out of the impending Miami Open in order to extend his preparation. According to the Associated Press, his agent confirmed that Federer will "work his way back out on tour". The 20-time Grand Slam champion is yet to compete in more than a year after having two operations on his right knee last year. Here is more.
Federer could play the Qatar tournament
Federer, who turns 40 in August, is due to make his return to the tour next week in a hard-court tournament at Doha, Qatar. He recently posted his photo on Twitter with the caption, "The countdown to Doha begins." If he competes, that will be his first event since he lost the semi-finals at the Australian Open in February 2020.
He is also scheduled to play in Dubai
Federer is also scheduled to participate in the hard-court tournament at Dubai, UAE, that begins on March 14. He had been on the entry list for the Masters 1000 stop in Miami, which commences on March 24. However, his agent stated, "After Doha and maybe Dubai, (Federer) will go back and do a training to slowly work his way back out on tour."
Federer has won the Miami Open four times
During his long-standing career, Federer has won the Miami Open a record four times. He beat John Isner 6-1, 6-4 in the 2019 final to win the tournament the last time it was held. Besides, he has also won in 2005, 2006 and 2017.
We would have loved to see Federer play: James Blake
Speaking on Federer's absence, Miami Open tournament director James Blake said, "We certainly would have loved Roger to return to Miami to defend his title." "However, as a former player, I understand that you need to tailor your travel and playing schedule to properly work your way back to 100 percent fitness when coming off an injury."
Federer considered retirement following his second knee surgery
In February 2020, Federer underwent a keyhole surgery on his knee. Later on, a follow-up operation ruled him out of the 2020 season. He had admitted that he might consider retirement following his second knee surgery. Eventually, he hinted at making a comeback soon. However, Federer couldn't recover in time for the Australian Open, thereby opting out of it.
Djokovic recently emulated a special record of Federer
At present, Federer holds the fifth spot in the ATP Rankings. He has spent a total of 310 weeks at number one, a record recently emulated by his long-time rival Novak Djokovic. However, the former still holds the record for most consecutive weeks at the top (237). Moreover, Federer has the second-most tour-level titles (103) after Jimmy Connors (109).