Roger Federer says he never seriously considered retirement in his 14 months away from tennis and is returning as he feels “the story’s not over yet,” according to BBC Sport.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion is competing at this week’s Qatar Open.
It will be his first tour appearance since losing to Novak Djokovic in last year’s Australian Open semi-finals.
“I know it’s on the rare side for almost a 40-year-old to come back after a year being out. What’s important is I’m injury and pain-free,” he said.
“The pain is completely under control.”
The 39-year-old has a bye into the second round in Doha, where he will play either Britain’s Dan Evans or Jeremy Chardy of France.
“I hope then by Wimbledon I’m going to be 100%, and that’s when the season starts for me.”
Federer had initial arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last February.
A second operation was required in June as his knee would often swell up after walks and bike rides with his family.
“Retirement was never really on the cards. I think it’s really a conversation more, let’s say, if the knee keeps bothering me for months and months to come.
“I just feel like the story’s not over yet. I enjoy playing tennis, I enjoy being on the road,” he said.
Image source: Tennis World USA