STARNBERG, March 8, 2021
Roger Federer makes a welcome return to the ATP Tour after a 13-month absence at the 2021 Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
The three-time champion (2005-’06, ’11), who has undergone two right knee surgeries since his most recent tournament appearance at the 2020 Australian Open, owns a 26-3 match record at the ATP 250.
“For me, tennis is like riding a bike, I always knew that I could play very little and still play very good. My biggest concern is the knee, I’ve had two knee surgeries, I had to build from scratch. Next 3-5 months are going to be interesting,how the knee is gonna react,” Federer told journalists in a virtual pre-tournament press conference on Sunday.
“I haven’t heard a lot of people saying I should retire, I tried to stay away from the media. I believe that what you miss through injuries you can add at the backend of your career. It is good to take a break, I enjoyed with my family, but I missed the tour.”
Defending champion Andrey Rublev will aim to continue his strong start to 2021 with another title run in Qatar. The Russian captured his fourth straight ATP 500 title on Sunday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
World No. 4 Dominic Thiem, the top seed in Doha, will make his fourth appearance at the ATP 250. Denis Shapovalov and 2019 titlist Roberto Bautista Agut round out the Top 5 seeding positions.
Doha’s draw pic.twitter.com/Ay73oLYYrf
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 6, 2021
Tsitsipas headlines Open 13 Provence
Stefanos Tsitsipas will have his sights set on an Open 13 Provence hat-trick this week, after claiming the Marseille trophy in 2019 and 2020 without losing a set.
Tsitsipas is one of three players to have won back-to-back titles at the ATP 250, alongside Marc Rosset (1993-’94) and Thomas Enqvist (1997-’98). He will aim to become the first player to win three titles in a row at the event.
Tsitsipas is joined by a stellar line-up on the southern French coast. World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev will aim to bounce back from a first-round loss at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Medvedev, who owns five indoor tour-level trophies, will be chasing his 10th ATP Tour crown in Marseille.
Former champion Karen Khachanov (2018), #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner and home favourite Ugo Humbert will also aim to add to their ATP Tour trophy collections. Three-time champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2009, ’13, ’17) and Kei Nishikori will also feature at the ATP 250.
Open 13 2021 pic.twitter.com/RMraEOJUxJ
— Open 13 Provence (@Open13) March 6, 2021
Garin on home soil in Chile
Home favourite Cristian Garin is seeking his fifth ATP Tour trophy – and his first on home soil – as the top seed at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open in Santiago.
Chile’s top player will have to hit the ground running at the second edition of the ATP 250 event, which also features Benoit Paire as the No. 2 seed and Frances Tiafoe as No. 5.
Cordoba champion Juan Manuel Cerundolo, 19, and Buenos Aires finalist Francisco Cerundolo are also in action as the South American swing continues.
¡TENEMOS MAIN DRAW! 🤩🎾
— Chile Open (@chile_open) March 6, 2021