Roger Federer yesterday, March 10, bounced back from a 13-month injury-induced absence from the court to claim his first victory at the Qatar Open.
Federer defeated Britain’s Dan Evans 7-6 (10/8), 3-6, 7-5 after an epic clash that lasted two hours and 24 minutes.
It was an intense and massive match for the 39-year-old Swiss, who fought bravely to overcome the in-form Briton.
Speaking about his first victory, Federer, who had two serious knee surgeries in 2020, said “it felt great to be out there again…. it will give me a lot of answers”.
Continuing, Federer said, “It’s going to be interesting to see how I feel tomorrow,”
Federer, who hasn’t played a game since losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the Australian Open in January 2020, which is about 405 days ago, accepted that it was unreal for a player of his age to come back to the game after a very long time out due to injury.
An elated Federer said:
“I was very happy with how I was able to handle the tough moments, I didn’t think my game started to wobble,”
He even joked with the umpire at the beginning of the game about the rules of the sports due to the effect of Covid-19, because ever since the pandemic started, he hasn’t played a game in the sports.
“I tend to forget a lot of things… like I’d ask for the towel and they couldn’t bring it to me because of the (coronavirus) rules, it feels like I’ve been away longer than I have”, he said later.
Speaking specifically about Evans, who is his recent training partner, Federer said:
“Dan was a tough first-round — the lucky thing was I’d practised with him for the last few weeks,”
“I knew I had to come forward more and come to the net and take chances and obviously that stresses the body more.
“I was really explosive actually.”
Federer received a heros’ reception from a 20 percent capacity crowd at the Khalifa Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar smiling back at fans, some of them holding his portrait and some were seen waving his national colours.
Federer’s opponent, Evans, said after the game:
“it was clear he’d been off but (he) showed a lot of glimpses of why he’s so good”.
Federer has said his resurgence from the knee surgery was “completely under control” ahead of his return to competitive tennis.
He said on Wednesday:
“It’s been a long and tough road for me,
to come back at my age is not very simple.”
Federer who will be 40 years old come August, has stated he wishes to be back to “100 percent” for Wimbledon in June.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion. Federer has disclosed his displeasure about not having a stadium filled with fans because of the Coronavirus strict regulations put in place but was happy to have some fans available.
He will be squaring up against Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in the semi-finals on Thursday, March 11, 2021.