Roger Federer having announced that he would return to the courts after the Australian Open, the Swiss could very well play the Marseille tournament next March, formalized on the calendar this Tuesday by the ATP.
And if Roger Federer, who has not participated in the tournament since 2003, the year of his only victory in the Bouches-du-Rhône so far, and this for his fourth participation, made his comeback next year in Marseille ? Jean-François Caujolle, the director of the event, necessarily dreams of it secretly. Especially since ATP officially put Open 13 on the schedule for next season’s post-Australian Open. And even more after reading the statements made the day before by the agent of the Swiss champion, revealing that his protégé, who is slowly recovering from his knee injury, would not be present in Melbourne but nevertheless planned to return to the courts in despite his 39 years, at the same time dismissing rumors of retirement with the back of his hand.
Asked Monday in the Swiss daily The morning, Yves Allegro, close to Federer, can imagine his friend to line up in Marseille, as he thinks that the Balois will return to competition, a week earlier, in Rotterdam, knowing that it is practically unthinkable that the former world number 1 decided to dispute Montpellier and or Cordoba, even to get back in the bath.
Finalist in 2000, winner in 2003
“I believe he will favor places with which he has a common history. So Rotterdam undoubtedly and perhaps Marseille ”, estimated Allegro without knowing yet that ATP was going to give even more weight to a possible participation of Federer in Rotterdam and Marseille by scheduling the two meetings at the beginning of March, that is probably at the time when whoever resumed training in Dubai a few days ago will be ready to play again in competition.
In 1999, for his first appearance in Marseille, where he was then invited, Federer stumbled in the quarter-finals on Arnaud Clément (6-3, 6-3). A year later, he was beaten in the final by his compatriot Marc Rosset (2-6, 6-3, 7-6), a year before stopping this time in the semi-finals after his loss to Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov (6-7, 6-4, 6-4). Absent in 2002, he returned in 2003 to finally register his name on the prize list of the event., at the expense of Jonas Bjorkman (6-2, 7-6). Eighteen years later, Federer, who has since become a legend, could light up Open 13 with his presence again.