Federer to face Chardy or Evans in comeback match in Doha

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Roger Federer will face the winner of the match between Jeremy Chardy and Dan Evans in the Qatar Open next week in his first competition in more than a year.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who underwent two right knee operations last season, is playing in his first tournament since he reached the semifinals at the Australian Open in February 2020.

In Saturday’s draw, the 39-year-old Federer has a bye and faces a second-round challenge from either Chardy or Evans, who play Monday.

Veteran Chardy took Andrey Rublev to three sets in Rotterdam on Friday and the Frenchman has reached two semifinals this year. British player Evans won the Murray River Open in Melbourne last month, defeating Chardy in the semifinals.

Other Doha headliners include top-seeded Dominic Thiem and Rublev.

“It’s been a long and hard road,” second-seeded Federer said Friday on Twitter. “I know I’m not at the finish line yet. I feel like I’m in a good place. I’ve been practicing very well, and just really pumped up.”

Federer won trophies at the hard-court event in 2005, 2006 and 2017. He is currently No. 5 in the ATP rankings.

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