With Roger Federer reportedly pondering a March return to tennis in Doha, Rotterdam tournament officials are concerned that their invitation to the icon will be ignored.
The 39-year-old Swiss has been training for several weeks at his base in Dubai, a quick one-hour flight away from Doha, which starts March 8.
He last competed on the Tour at the Australian Open a year ago before two 2020 knee procedures which knocked him out of the COVID-affected season.
The No. 5 is skipping the trip to Oz this year, likely due to the 14-day quarantine now being served by players.
Rotterdam TD Richard Krajicek, a longtime Federer friend and the 1996 Wimbledon winner, is scratching for ways to attract the Swiss back to Europe for an indoor week from March 1 at a tournament which has just signed Rafael Nadal.
But the dream lineup seems unlikely, though the Dutch tennis boss is giving his best effort.
“He could play in Rotterdam and then decide if he goes to Doha or Dubai (from March 15),” Krajicek told Switzerland’s Blick.
“It’s not at all clear if he can be ready for March 1, but you have to bear in mind that playing the best of three sets is not the same as playing the best of five (which would have been the case in Australia) .
“As far as I know Roger will be back in Doha the week after Rotterdam, but if he is fit to play we will hear from him.”
Federer is said to be leaning towards Doha – which he has won three times – followed by Dubai (eight titles, the last in 2019).