Roger Federer says he is hoping to make his comeback from double knee surgery in 2020 by competing at a smaller stress-free tournament after skipping the Australian Open.
The 39-year-old, who is tied with Rafa Nadal on 20 grand slam titles, has not played a competitive match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Melbourne Park semi-finals last January.
Federer’s agent Tony Godsick said in December he was looking to build a playing calendar for the Swiss from late February onwards.
Swiss broadcaster SRF reported Federer could return at the ATP 250 tournament in Doha from March 8-13, an event he has won three times.
“I want to celebrate great victories again. And for that I’m ready to go the long, hard road,” Federer told SRF.
“I’ve been thinking about when and where to come back for a long time. I wanted to make my comeback at a smaller tournament so that I wasn’t fully in focus and where the stress is also a little less.”
Federer said he had continued to keep track of results on the ATP Tour as worked his way back to fitness.
“I actually thought that I would not follow the sport very much and would be more busy with my children and my rehab,” Federer added.
“I was surprised that I kept checking results and watching matches. And normally I don’t do that at all if I don’t take part in a tournament.”