Qatar Open: Roger Federer Makes Winning Return After 13 Months
Doha: Roger Federer won his first match after over 400 days on Wednesday as the 20-time Grand Slam champion beat British number one Dan Evans at the Qatar Open.
Federer defeated Evans with 7-6 (10/8), 3-6, 7-5 scoreline.
The Swiss great had not played a match since a semi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January 2020, exactly 405 days ago.
In the third set, Federer failed to win his first match point.
On the second match point, however, Federer proved too much for his opponent, sealing his comeback win with a backhand down the line, to huge applause.
Federer had received a rapturous welcome from the 20 percent-capacity crowd at Doha’s Khalifa Tennis Complex.
Federer, the tournament second seed, faced a break point at 4-4 in the opening set but was able to pull it back.
Evans secured two points in a row against the Federer serve in the tie-break but the former world number one proved unstoppable, winning the first set in 49 minutes on his third set point.
While Federer was out of action, Rafael Nadal equalled his men’s record Grand Slam title haul with a 13th Roland Garros triumph.
Djokovic, meanwhile, captured a ninth Australian Open last month to take his career Slam tally to 18.