‘Major goal’: Roger Federer’s massive Olympics announcement
Roger Federer admits his sights are firmly set on playing in the Tokyo Olympic Games as the Swiss star chases one of the few singles titles to elude him over an astonishing career.
The 20-time grand slam champion has just about won all that tennis has to offer but the closest he came to Olympic gold in singles, was a silver medal at the 2012 London Games.
Federer – who is this week making his long-awaited injury comeback – did team up with Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka to win doubles gold at the Beijing Games in 2008.
However, speaking before his match against Dan Evans at the ATP Tour’s Qatar Open, Federer opened up about his goals for 2021.
Federer was spotted watching on from the stands as Evans set up a second-round clash with the Swiss legend in Doha.
Evans will meet Federer in the 20-time grand slam champion’s first match of his comeback after a fighting win over Jeremy Chardy on Tuesday.
Federer, who had a bye through to the second round, is playing in his first tournament in Doha since last year’s Australian Open after two knee operations.
He has been training with Evans in Dubai in preparation for his return to the tour and the top-ranked Brit will get the chance to use that inside knowledge in the second round clash.
Evans was playing his first match since an opening-round loss at the Australian Open and had to dig deep to claim a 6-4 1-6 6-2 victory over in-form Frenchman Chardy.
Federer, 39, has not played a competitive match since his Australian Open semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic last year but is already looking ahead to Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
Swiss ace chasing Olympic gold in singles
“Participation in the Olympics is part of my plan although my main goal was everything from today until Wimbledon, the tournament that precedes the Olympics,” Federer told beIN Sports.
“I hope that I will be fully in (shape) by then and that questions about my knee will stop.
“The Olympics is a major goal for me… Unfortunately, I missed the Rio Olympics (in 2016) because of a left knee injury.
“I hope I will return to the Tokyo Olympics.”
Federer lost out on a singles bronze in 2000, won the doubles gold medal in 2008, took a silver medal after finishing runner-up to Andy Murray at the London 2012 Games and missed the 2016 Rio Games due to injury.
Despite his lack of recent match practice, Federer will start a warm favourite against Evans in Doha with the Swiss star boasting a 26-3 record at the complex on his way to securing three titles in the Qatari capital.
Asked whether he’d considered his future while being sidelined, Federer said: “Retirement was never really on the cards.
“I think it’s more of a conversation if the knee keeps bothering me for months and months – then let’s look at it.
“This is not the time to think about that…let’s say in the fall of this year.
“I just feel like the story is not over. It’s not like there’s one particular reason that I wanted to keep playing tennis other than I enjoyed playing tennis, I enjoy being on the road.
“I’m still a work in progress but probably one of the other reasons for coming back is I want to get that high again of playing against the biggest players and in the biggest tournaments and hopefully winning them again.”