“Perfect Place”: Roger Federer Reveals Why He Chose ATP Qatar Open 2021 for Making His Return

Published 03/08/2021, 5:30 PM EST
SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 10: Roger Federer of Switzerland holds a press conference at the Rolex Shanghai Masters at the Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 10, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)


Roger Federer will make his anticipated return to the ATP tour at Qatar Open 2021. Qatar Open is relatively a smaller tournament on the calendar and doesn’t often feature the likes of Federer. But this year’s unprecedented circumstances, and with Federer’s return from injury, there are a number of reasons why the Swiss master chose Doha.

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Federer actually holds a great record in Doha, Qatar. He is a three-time champion there, and the warmer conditions in the outdoor courts play well for his comeback.

“I have played well here in the past, enjoyed coming here. It’s outdoors. The weather’s on the warmer side. Australia was too soon, so it just ended up being the perfect place for a comeback,” Federer said in an interview with beIN Sports.

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Roger Federer at Australian Open 2020. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

As the 2020 season was drawing close, everyone expected Federer’s return to happen at the Australian Open 2021. But even though the Grand Slam got delayed, Federer chose not to travel to Australia.

Roger Federer on ATP Qatar Open’s tournament director and bubble life

Federer has good relations with the tournament director of Qatar Open, Kareen Alami, which certainly played a part in his plan to return to the tour here. Their playing days go way back to the 2000s when a 19-year-old Federer played a 27-year-old Kareen in the Sydney Olympics. So this is also a reason that prompted Federer’s return to Doha.

“You know I know the tournament director, Kareem Alami. Also, a longtime friend of mine played against him at the Sydney Olympics back in 2000. So we go way back I don’t know I just felt like this is a good place to come back for me.”

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Federer’s last appearance in Doha came in 2012. And now he will further experience the ‘bubble life’ that others have faced in the past year for the first time.

“And I would have loved my family to be here but with bubble life, unfortunately, that is not possible so we go through it together as a team which is, which is a good thing.”

Federer begins his Qatar Open 2021 journey against either Jeremy Chardy or Dan Evans in the second round.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1064 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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