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Roger Federer made his tennis return after more than a year out injured yesterday in beating Dan Evans at the Qatar Open. It took the Swiss three sets to get the job done but he eventually won 7-6 (8), 3-6, 7-5.
Federer will play his quarter-final against Nikoloz Basilashvili this afternoon at around 3pm GMT.
After two operations on his right knee it was not known how well the 39-year-old would recover after such a long lay off.
Federer was happy with his return though and despite still in some pain was happy with his condition.
“I was really explosive, actually,” Federer said.
In a match that lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours, Federer was able to prove his fitness and really test his knee.
Roger Federer reveals how he's practising at home in 2020
The fact he didn’t double fault once and didn’t need any pain relief after the contest was another indicator of his conditioning.
“I was very happy with how I was able to handle the tough moments,” he added.
“I didn’t feel like my game started to wobble the more important the points got.
“I think I was able to play how I wanted to play, so I think that’s always a great sign and a great feeling to have.
“In practice, it doesn’t matter if you miss a backhand down the line, being down break point.
“But here it matters a lot.”
Federer had not competed since losing in the Australian Open semi-finals to Novak Djokovic in January 2020.
It will no doubt take the Swiss time to get his timing and consistency back but his win against Evans was very encouraging.
Whether Federer can reach the levels of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as he approaches his 40th birthday remains to be seen.
Before the Qatar Open the 39-year-old underlined he feels like he has more to give and isn’t ready to retire yet.
He said: “I just feel like the story’s not over yet.”
Federer will look for more success this season with Wimbledon and the Olympics on his radar.
Federer has already won an incredible eight All England Championships and will look to make it nine if he is in good condition by the time of the tournament.
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