Ever since Roger Federer pulled out of the Australian Open, his fans have been feverishly speculating about where he will make his comeback. Federer's compatriots Marc Rosset and Yves Allegro recently surmised he will return at the Rotterdam event, and now tournament director Richard Krajicek has also given his two cents on the matter.
The ATP released an updated calendar of events for the first three months on Tuesday. After the Australian Open ends in Melbourne, players will have opportunities to compete indoors in Europe, on clay in South America, and on hardcourts in the Middle East.
If Roger Federer is fit enough to return by late February, he could target his comeback at one of the three events scheduled for the first week of March - the ABN AMRO Open in Rotterdam, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, or the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai.
Against that background, former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek recently asserted that the doors of the Rotterdam event will always be open for Federer. Krajicek also hinted that he would himself reach out to the Swiss' team and try to find out whether he is interested in playing.
"Roger Federer knows that he is always welcome here," Krajicek said. "Usually with the Big 3, you wait for the manager to contact you to indicate that they want to play. But I can drop an email just in case."
Although Roger Federer has many happy memories at Rotterdam, Krajicek is not considering the Swiss' appearance this year as a guarantee. The Dutchman is aware that it may be too early for Federer to make a commitment just yet, or that he may choose to make his comeback in the Middle East.
"If he already knows that February 8 will be too early, how can he know that he will make it to March 1? Even though best of 3 sets are quite different from best of five, in the Grand Slams," Krajicek said.
"He also likes to play in Dubai. And after Rotterdam it is now Doha and Dubai, Federer can also make that choice," he added.
Dubai, Doha and and Rotterdam have been happy hunting grounds for Roger Federer in the past
Roger Federer has enjoyed incredible success at the ATP events in Doha, Dubai and Rotterdam in the past.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships has been one of Federer's favorite stomping grounds. The Swiss has posted a 53-6 record in Dubai through his career, winning eight titles at the ATP 500 event - the last of which came in 2019.
At the ABN AMRO event in Rotterdam, Federer has posted a 28-6 record, having won the title on three occasions. He last won there in 2018, a run during which he also reclaimed the No. 1 ranking.
At Doha, usually held in the first week of the season, Roger Federer has a 26-3 lifetime record. He has won three titles in the Arab city, although the last time he competed there was way back in 2012.
It remains to be seen when and where Roger Federer eventually makes his much-awaited comeback. But it is fairly certain that he will do so at a tournament he is very comfortable playing in.Published 29 Dec 2020, 23:04 IST