“It has been a long and tough road for me. I enjoyed it though,” said the 20-time Grand Slam champion after the match in Doha. Swiss-ace Roger Federer, being kept out of tennis courts for more than a year due to the knee surgery following the 2020 Australian Open , has kick started his 24th season on tour with a win.
It was not a cake walk for the former No. 1, though, as he had to fight hard against some inspired tennis by Dan Evans at the Qatar Open before finally winning the second-round of the match 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 on Wednesday.It was Federer’s first match in 405 days after the knee surgery following the 2020 Australian Open.
“Feels good to be back,” Federer said in an on-court interview. “I’m happy to be standing here regardless of if I won or lost. But obviously winning feels better.” He played for close to 150 minutes and the 39-year-old Swiss player’s stamina was put to test following his long hiatus.At 6-5 down in the first-set tiebreaker Federer saved a set point and then went on to save two break points at 3-3 in the deciding set before pulling of the win.
Federer gave snippets of glimpses of the magic he’s capable of throughout the match.He won the first set with a superb cross-court backhand winner while Evans charged into the net. Unable to convert a match point at 5-4 in the final, he employed backhand down the line to win on his second attempt.Federer said he employed Evans as a training partner as he was preparing for his comeback by playing more than 20 sets against the player in the last few weeks.