Good news for South Florida tennis fans: Roger Federer is feeling stronger than expected following knee surgery, and will make his comeback at the Miami Open in Key Biscayne next week.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion had arthroscopic surgery on Feb. 3 to repair a meniscus he tore the day after his Australian Open semifinal defeat to Novak Djokovic. He skipped tournaments at Rotterdam, Dubai, and Indian Wells (California). He had hinted he would return to the tour at the Monte Carlo tournament in April.
But he decided to get back to action in Key Biscayne. Federer posted an emoji-filled Tweet on Thursday morning that included an airplane, American flag, orange, sun, palm tree, dolphin, beach, sunglasses, tennis ball, thumbs up and @MiamiOpen.
His agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed that Federer is headed to South Florida and plans to play the tournament, which runs March 22 through April 3.
“Roger’s very excited to return to Miami. He’s always enjoyed playing the tournament, and he looks forward to getting back out on the court after his knee surgery. He’s been practicing very well the last few days with no setbacks so he’s looking forward to seeing the fans in Miami next week.”
Said Miami Open tournament director Adam Barrett: “We are thrilled Roger is making his return to tennis here in Miami. Our fans will be ecstatic to see the 17-time Grand Slam and two-time Miami Open champion in person.”
Federer skipped Miami in 2013 and 2015, but played here in 2014. Most of the other top 95 men and women in the world are scheduled to play, including defending champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray. For the first time, winners will make more than $1 million — $1.028 million, an increase of $100,000 from last year.