Speaking to the Swiss sports channel, SRF, Federer revealed that coming back at a smaller profile tournament would ease the weight of expectation on his shoulders.
However, fans hoping for an ATP 250 event to allow Federer to ease himself back into the tour will be disappointed to see the field contains a raft of top players, including US Open Champion Dominic Thiem defending champion, Andrey Rublev.
I am very happy to announce a very strong line-up for the oncoming Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021 ATP event, which will take place in Doha at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, from March 8 till Match 13, 2021.
The line-up includes three top-10 players; the highest-ranked participant at number 3 in the ATP World Ranking, returning to Doha, is the 2020 US Open winner Dominic Thiem. We are extremely proud to welcome back to Doha on his return to the Tour, currently as world number 5, a player who has achieved virtually everything there is to achieve in tennis, Roger Federer. And our next top-10 entry is our defending champion, coming back to Doha after his brilliant win in the 2020 edition of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Andrey Rublev.
The line-up is enhanced by 6 more players currently ranked in the top 20 in the ATP World Ranking, including three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, our 2019 Qatar ExxonMobil Open winner Roberto Bautista Agut, our 2018 winner Gael Monfils, and Denis Shapovalov, David Goffin, and Pablo Carreno Busta.
I am sure this exceptional line-up is a guarantee for exceptional tennis and welcome fans to enjoy once again our wonderful ATP event, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. See you there! Karim Alami, Qatar ExxonMobil Open Tournament Director
Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021, Doha, Entry List
You can see the full entry list below:
- Dominic Thiem
- Roger Federer
- Andrey Rublev
- Gael Monfils
- Denis Shapvalov
- Robert Bautista Agut
- David Goffin
- Pablo Carreno Busta
- Stan Wawrinka
- Borna Coric
- Daniel Evans
- Dusan Lajovic
- Hubert Hurkacz
- Taylor Fritz
- Filip Krajinovic
- Lorenzo Songego
- Reilly Opelka
- John Millman
- Kevin Anderson
A much stronger field than last years event and there will be no easy matches for Roger at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.
You have two of the most in-form guys on tour in Rublev and Thiem in the mix, but there's some tough opposition all the way down the entry list.
Bautista Agut has started the season looking out of sorts losing in the first round of the Australian Open, but he won the title here in 2019 and along with Wawrinka, Shapovalov, Evans, Carreno Busta and Coric can give anyone a run for their money.
Finally, it will be interesting to see if the Australian Open results will change anyone's plans. Thiem and Rublev are two of the guys in the mix for the title and winning a slam usually results in a withdrawal from any immediately upcoming tournament but that is FedFan wishful thinking right now 😄
What do you guys think of the field? How will Federer do and can Monfils finally win a match since the tour was suspended last year?