Roger Federer has announced that he will play the Geneva Open ahead of Roland Garros this year and organisers have shared their excitement at the news.
Federer has only played one tournament in 14 months due to double knee surgery. He returned to court in March this year in Doha, but immediately announced he was taking a further break to focus on fitness.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has admitted that his two biggest targets this year are Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, but it was expected he would have to play a full clay court season in order to gain match practice.
However, on Sunday, Federer announced on twitter that he will only be playing the Geneva Open before the French Open and the organisers didn't hold back in their excitement.
Geneva Open organizer Gerard Tsobanian revealed that negotiations with Federer to attend the event started at the 2019 Laver Cup and said he had to gain his trust.
"It's a big day and a big reward for our event," said Tsobanian. "In order to bring players like him, you have to speak a lot and establish a relationship of trust.
Geneva Tournament Director Thierry Grin was even more joyous about the news saying its a dream come true.
"It's just amazing," Grin said. "It's the biggest dream that comes true. This year the stars aligned: it's a gift from the heavens.
Just last month Grin admitted that he'd been trying to get Federer at the tournament for six years.
“For six years, we talk every time with his team in the perspective that he will play once the Geneva Open. We hope that this year can be the good one," said Grin.
The Geneva Open will take place May 16 - 22, while the French Open will now start on May 30 following a decision to delay for one week due to coronavirus concerns.
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