“It’s About Time”: Martina Navratilova Reflects on Roger Federer Confirming to Play in Dubai

Published 02/16/2021, 5:00 AM EST
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 05: Roger Federer during the arrival press conference in Cape Town ahead of The Match in Africa against Rafael Nadal at Cape Town International Airport on February 05, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images/Getty Images)


It has been more than a year of inaction for Roger Federer now. He last played at the Australian Open 2020, where the Swiss maestro saw a straight-set loss against the Serbian Novak Djokovic. It was a tough series for him where he had to test his physical limits in 2 five-setters. 

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The 20-time grand slam champion later in the same year underwent double knee surgeries. All of this kept him away from the tennis court even after various countries lifted lockdown and the sport made a much-awaited return. However, the latest news is a big positive for the Federer camp.

Martina Navratilova reflected on the comeback of Roger Federer

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The Swiss great will make his return to the ATP Tour at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. Also, the latest development suggests that he can then play an ATP 500 tournament in nearby Dubai. 

In a recent interview, a jovial Martina Navratilova learned the news and reacted with some humor. The 18-time women’s Grand Slam champion expressed, “I think he just wants to stay in Burj Al Arab again, but amazing!

“It’s great to see Roger back, it’s about time for him sitting for over a year. So I’m glad he’s healthy and playing again.” 

That he is coming back with an ATP 250 will ensure that he does not have to put too much pressure on himself for advancing deeper in the event.

Prior to this, there were headlines that alleged Roger was fit enough to return for Australian Open 2021 and that he decided against it because of family reasons.

Can the Ninjafed make a successful return?

Roger Federer gestures to the spectators before hitting signed tennis balls into the stands during the 2019 Hopman Cup. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Well, it might be an ATP 250, but it has participation from some of the best ATP players. The 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, the ATP Cup 2021 hero Andrey Rublev, and of course King Roger himself will stay in the highlight of the event.

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Apart from these names, there are six players from the Top-20 that’ll make the competition juicier. From Roger’s Swiss companion Stan Wawrinka to Roberto Bautista Agut, Gael Monfils, and others, it will not be an easy draw for the legendary 39-YO.

However, the rusty Federer is also the mighty Federer, and he has always dominated all the aforementioned names with his stinging play. Also notably, his participation in the Dubai event will depend on how his body reacts to the Qatar event.

The event will kick off on March 8th and the world will cheer for the arguable GOAT.

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Sourabh Singh

1039 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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