Roger Federer suffers early exit at Geneva Open as he makes his return to tennis

Roger Federer suffered a surprise early exit at the Geneva Open with a three-set defeat to Spain’s Pablo Andujar as the Swiss great made his return to tennis.

After two months away from the tour, the former world No 1 fell 6-4 4-6 6-4 to 75th-ranked Andujar in the second round at the Parc des Eaux-Vives.

Federer, who is returning from two surgeries on his right knee, was playing in only his second tournament since the 2020 Australian Open.

But the 20-time Grand Slam champion saw his 32-match winning streak on Swiss soil come to an end as Andujar recorded just the fifth top-10 win of his career.

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“It’s good to be back on the court, but then you lose a match like this and you’re down. It never feels great. I was looking forward to playing here, no doubt about it,” Federer said.

“Sure, it’s rewarding to be back on a tennis court. But I expect better from myself. I feel like in practice I’ve been playing better, even in practice here. But then again as we know, matches are a different animal. I’ve got my work cut out there.”

He continued: “Roland Garros is not the goal. The goal is the grass, so I still have time.

“I’m disappointed for the tournament more than anything. I wish I could have stayed around and played some more matches for the people here because the atmosphere still is, considering [the circumstances], very good, and they seemed very happy to see me here.

“Obviously I wish I could have played more, but at the same time it is what it is now, so you’ve just got to accept it and move on.”

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The next Federer?

Before heading out on court, Federer was a spectator for perhaps the brightest prospect in Swiss men’s tennis since his own rise, as 18-year-old Dominic Stephan Stricker stunned former US Open champion Marin Cilic 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 in the first round.

Stricker, last year’s French Open junior champion, is currently ranked 419th in the world.

But the Swiss left-hander broke Cilic’s serve four times on his way to the biggest win of his career so far.

“I was getting nervous,” Stricker said. “It was actually OK until 5-1, 30-love. I was happy to finish it at 6-1 and not serve again.”

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