Roger Federer is feeling confident but anxious as the 20-time grand slam champion prepares to make his return at the ATP Cincinnati Masters.
Swiss star Federer has not played since losing his Wimbledon quarter-final to Kevin Anderson, having opted to skip the Citi Open and Rogers Cup in a bid to ease his schedule.
The 37-year-old – a seven-time Cincinnati champion – will face Peter Gojowczyk on Tuesday, his first hard-court match since March.
Speaking ahead of his 1,416th Tour match, Federer – who is seeking his 99th title – told reporters: "I've been practising on hard courts, so it's not like I haven't played on hard courts for forever.
"I feel I am really ready to go. Anxious actually. Cincy has been a great tournament for me in the past. It's great to be back and hopefully I can play a good tournament."
Federer has enjoyed an incredible renaissance since undergoing knee surgery in February 2016, winning two Australian Open titles and an eighth Wimbledon crown.
Seeded second in Cincinnati, Federer said smart scheduling has been key to his longevity on the ATP circuit.
"Because of the knee problem and the surgery I had and the six months I took, it's made it much easier," Federer said.
"It puts everything in perspective and you're happier to take a week off and stay on tour and be healthy rather than be playing, playing, playing and something pops and you are out for the count, maybe forever.
"It is hard emotionally because you wish you could play everything, but in return I get a more relaxed schedule, I can plan much better with my family, which is super important to me and I can also plan my practices with my coaches and everybody's rhythm is known.
"If I want to play more I can always do that. If I want to play less, I can do that too. So I feel I have passed the hectic part of my life. Because of the rhythm I feel everything is quite comfortable."
|Aguero targets historic quadruple|
|Scholes backs Solskjaer for Man United job|
|Finch hails ´special´ Renegades comeback|
|Sydney FC 1 Central Coast Mariners 1: Le Fondre strike averts shock defeat|
|Fox soars in Perth final to win World Super 6|
|Williams delay start to pre-season testing|
|Renegades crowned BBL champions after stunning Stars collapse|
|What we learned from NBA All-Star Saturday|
|Kaepernick´s attorney tips Patriots to make move for QB|
|Tebow: I told Murray to follow his heart|
|Mourinho created unhealthy atmosphere – Sanchez|
|Santa Cruz defends belt against Rivera|
|Opelka, Isner set ATP Tour record at New York Open|
|Diallo soars over Shaq to win Slam Dunk contest|
|WATCH: Diallo dunks over Shaquille O´Neal|
|Silver: NBA trade requests should stay behind closed doors|
|´It´s more of an aspiration´ – LeBron clears up potential NBA ownership|
|Harris wins Three-Point contest ahead of Curry|
|Thomas leads rain-delayed Genesis Open|
|Tatum wins NBA Skills Challenge with stunning half-court shot|
|Robben: Anfield is the worst stadium|
|Valverde not nervous about Messi penalties after spot-kick miss|
|Sanchez ´worried´ amid Man United struggles|
|Schoeman hat-trick sees Lions past Jaguares|
|Piatek lives to score goals - Milan striker´s brilliant double pleases Gattuso|
|Lyon will punish Barca in this form, Pique warns|
|Guardiola lauds Silva´s ´incredible´ FA Cup performance|
|Clermont hit the top, Perpignan finally win|
|Schwartzman saves match point to down Thiem in Buenos Aires|
|Leinster withstand Zebre test as Connacht claim big win|
|Antonio Brown: Roethlisberger has owner mentality and you can´t call him out|
|Pizarro becomes Bundesliga´s oldest ever goalscorer|
|Wawrinka ends 20-month wait for final to book Monfils showdown|
|Barcelona 1 Real Valladolid 0: Hit and miss as Messi gets job done|
|Atalanta 1 AC Milan 3: Two-goal Piatek lands blow in fight for fourth|
|NBA, FIBA link up to start 12-team league in Africa|
|Guardiola proud of ´incredible´ City after Newport win|
|Worst pitch I´ve played on - Manchester City hero Foden unimpressed with Newport surface|
|LeBron James, Derek Jeter lead praise for retiring Yankees legend CC Sabathia|
|Durant happy for Porzingis but guarded on his own future|
|Newport County 1 Manchester City 4: Foden nets brace as upset is averted|
|Simeone plans Griezmann, Costa, Morata trident|
|Stephen Curry reveals three-point contest bet with brother Seth|
|Celtics, Lakers, Knicks on Anthony Davis´ list, along with 26 others|
|Mertens fights back to defeat Halep for her biggest WTA title|
|Championship Review: Norwich hit four as Baggies & Blades cruise|
|Sala mourned at funeral in Argentina|
|Costa thrilled to make Atletico return at old club Rayo|
|Specman´s spectacular debut double leads Bulls in Stormers thrashing|
|Sarries pounce on Chiefs slip as Saints sink sorry Sharks|
|Griezmann overtakes Torres on Atletico Madrid´s top-scorer list|
|LeBron James reacts to Kaepernick´s settlement with NFL: I´m happy he won his suit|
|Giannis to play for Greece at FIBA Basketball World Cup|
|Next question! - Russell Westbrook on All-Star Game team-mate Joel Embiid|
|Rayo Vallecano 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Griezmann downs derby rivals again|
|McIlroy on the charge as Tiger scrambles to make cut at Genesis Open|
|AFC Wimbledon 0 Millwall 1: Wallace knocks out West Ham conquerors|
|Lille star Leao dismisses Mbappe comparisons|
|Hamilton, Federer and Maradona send MotoGP great Rossi birthday wishes|
|Du Plessis applauds ´Superman´ Perera effort|
|Big Bash League: The best Opta facts ahead of Melbourne derby final|
|Farbrace stepping down as England assistant to take Warwickshire role|
|Spalletti hopes culprit is punished after reported attack on Icardi´s agent´s car|
|Tuchel wary of mounting PSG injury problems|
|Sangakkara, Jayawardene lead tributes to Kusal´s stunning Sri Lanka knock|
|Windies call up trio as injury replacements|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 2 Derby County 1: Knockaert strikes as Seagulls reach last eight|
|I did my part, says modest Sri Lanka match-winner Perera|
|Costa returns to Atletico Madrid squad|
|A-League Review: Perth Glory nine points clear after record defeat of Brisbane Roar|