Roger Federer on Tuesday addressed his long-awaited comeback to the ATP, with the 20-time Grand Slam winner confirming his appearance next month at Doha.

The Swiss also hinted to broadcaster RTS that a follow-up week in Dubai could also be likely.

The 39-year-old last competed at the Australian Open in January, 2020, before his season was interrupted by two knee procedures as well as COVID-19.

“I made the choice to come back to Doha for a simple reason: I did not want to operate my return to competition after such a long absence of thirteen months in a big tournament with all the stress that this can generate,” he explained regarding his Australian Open absence this month.

Federer last missed a Grand Slam in 1998.

He last played in the Gulf tournament in 2012; the ATP 250 event which starts on March 8 will feature Dominic Thiem, Gaël Monfils and Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka.

Federer has claimed Doha titles in 2005, 2006 and 2011.

“I’ve wondered where and when to make my comeback. The Australian Open (starting on Monday) came a bit early for my knee,” he said.

“It pains me to miss that tournament because it’s one of my favorite places and where I like to play the most .”

The icon outlined his competitive plans for this season: “The objectives will be Wimbledon, the Olympic tournament in Tokyo and the US Open.

“After Doha, I want to play another tournament (likely Dubai…) before doing a period of physical training.

“I also intend to play on clay. I still want to win big titles.

“I’m ready to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve this in terms of training and preparation.”

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