Roger Federer edged past Dan Evans 7-6(8) 3-6 7-5 in Doha to reach the quarter-finals in his comeback match.
After 405 days without playing competitive tennis, Roger Federer returned with a tight three set victory over Dan Evans.
The Brit showed high-quality to tennis to test the 20-time grand slam but Federer ultimately prevailed.
Federer will now play Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarter-finals.
In the first set there was little to separate the two players with Evans using his slice and power shots well against Federer.
On paper, this match was a good match for the second seed to start with as Evans plays an extremely similar game to Federer with also the fact that the Brit practiced with Federer for a couple of weeks in Dubai.
This showed as Federer was able to dictate points well and hit aggressively early in the rally with relative success.
However in the longer rallies, Evans was able to force some errors with good construction of points.
Nothing to separate them and no break points created, a first set tiebreak was played out to decide the winner of the opening set.
Despite being a mini-break down and missing simple shots, Federer rallied back and took the tiebreak 10-8.
The 39 year-old was clearly enjoying himself as he smiled even when missing some easy shots.
However the smile didn’t last long as Evan’s consistent high-quality tennis got its rewards in the second set.
Federer’s rustiness was telling as some routine unforced errors handed the Brit the momentum to take a 4-1 lead.
Some good angles mixed with accurate serving saw Evans thrive on this occasion as he relished playing one of the greatest players of all time.
The world number 28 didn’t concede his lead as he took the second set 6-3 and forced a deciding set.
In the final set, there were some high-quality rallies with some brave passing shots and decision-making from Evans.
This was now a test of Federer’s ability to craft his best tennis when it mattered as it was clear that the Swiss was not at his free-flowing best.
A massive serve and volley at match point down showed Evans’ confidence as he brought his best tennis.
Eventually though, Federer would create the break needed to seal the match as a backhand down the line sealed the win in 2 hours and 26 minutes.
After the match Federer added to perspective to the last 14 months and praised Evans’ performance, “Happy to be standing here regardless whether I won or lost,” Federer explained.
“Obviously winning feels better, but it was a great match. Dan played a good math too and he’s been a wonderful training partner with me over the last two weeks. We played over 20 sets. It was great fun and thank you for the people to come out and that was very special.”
A match that was much-needed for Federer to test his ability and slowly get back into the swing of things in a high-quality match.
A much easier match awaits in the quarter-finals as he takes on Nikoloz Basilashvili tomorrow.
French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur
The Australian explains why he wasn’t entirely happy with the atmosphere in the French capital.
Alex de Minaur didn’t hide his irritation with fans at Roland Garros following his shock exit from the tournament on Tuesday.
The 19th seed fell to home player Hugo Gaston in a five-set epic that lasted more than four hours. De Minaur had a 3-0 lead in the decisive set but ended up losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) to the world No.74. He has now lost in the first round of the French Open in four out of six appearances.
During the match De Minaur had to contend with a boisterous crowd who were cheering on Gaston. He faced some booing and jeering from those in the stands which the world No.20 was not happy about.
“I think there is a difference between a great atmosphere and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is completely fine and it’s great. I’m sure for him was an amazing atmosphere, he enjoyed every second of it.” De Minaur said afterwards.
“But there is a line that, when I’m getting told things by people in the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I think there is a certain line that needs to be kind of looked at.”
“Good on him (Gaston) for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and you know, having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”
De Minaur refused to go into what exactly was being said to him from certain members of the crowd but insisted that he was not being intimidated by what was occurring on the court. Towards the end of the match a series of unforced errors, including double faults, costed him dearly.
“I’m pretty sure I dealt with it pretty well, all things considering,” he said. “I was in the moment. I was in the heat of the moment battling out there. It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that. It was a lot sometimes and sometimes you do your best to focus on playing a tennis match. There are outside factors that you do your best to control.“
Heading into Paris, De Minaur had shown encouraging results on the clay with semi-final runs to tournaments in Barcelona and Lyon. He also reached the third round in Rome and took a set off Andrey Rublev when they clashed in Monte Carlo.
Given those recent results on the Tour, it is clear that the latest defeat is one that will sit with him for a while.
“Ideally, I will sleep tonight and I will forget all about it, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” de Minaur admits.
“It’s disappointing, as everything is, it is what it is. It’s a sport that we are playing. You have your good days, your bad days. You win absolute battles; you lose absolute battles.”
As for Garon, he will face Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin in the second round. This year’s draw is a golden opportunity for the Frenchman with him guaranteed to not play a seeded player until at least the last 16 if he makes it that far.
Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal
The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.
By Kingsley Elliot Kaye
In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.
Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.
“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.
Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.
“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.
Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.
He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.
Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”
Injury-Hit Borna Coric Reacts To First Grand Slam Win In 16 Months
The Croat admits he was unsure how his shoulder would hold up in his opening match at Roland Garros.
Borna Coric said he is relieved that his body managed to hold up during his opening win at the French Open on Sunday.
The former world No.12 spent almost three hours on the court before defeating Spain’s Carlos Taberner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, in what was his first Grand Slam match of any kind since the 2021 Australian Open. Paris is only the seventh tournament Coric has played in since returning to the Tour following a year-long absence due to shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.
“It does feel great. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my shoulder because I’ve never been in the fourth set, fifth set (of a match) for one-and-a-half years,” said Coric.
“So it was also kind of worrying for me, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I’m going to feel and how my whole body is going to behave in those later sets. Obviously I’ve been practicing it, but it’s really never the same.”
Impressively the Croat produced a total of 54 winners against 39 unforced errors in his latest match in the French capital. Furthermore, he won 76% of his first service points and 53% of his second.
“The last few weeks haven’t been very easy, I lost many tight matches. I mean, I was also quite happy with my tennis, but I was just losing,” he reflected.
Coric was once tipped to be the future of men’s tennis after rising quickly up the ranks at a young age. In 2014 he was the youngest player to end the season in the top 100 and a year last he was the youngest to do so in the top 50. He has recorded a total of nine wins over top five players, including Roger Federer, as well as winning two Tour titles.
In the second round at Roland Garros Coric will take on the formidable Grigor Dimitrov who has been ranked as high as third in the world. He will enter the clash as the underdog given his ongoing comeback from injury. At present Coric’s principal focus is on his body but that will change in the coming weeks.
“Until Wimbledon my health needs to come first and after Wimbledon I can kind of try to switch in my mind so I can start playing more and more tournaments. I can train more and I can focus more on the tennis rather than on my shoulder,” he explains.
Coric has reached the third round of the French Open on four previous occasions.
French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur
Tsitsipas Fights Back And Sails Through French Open Opener
Roland Garros Daily Preview: A Busy Day of Second Round Action on Wednesday
Jannik Sinner cruises past Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros
Planning Key For Daniil Medvedev’s Comeback From Hernia Surgery
Former World No.1 Simona Halep Considered Retiring In 2021
Kristijan Schneider, Former Coach Of Borna Coric And Others, Dies Aged 41
Simona Halep Unsurprised By Mass Exit Of Top Seeds At Madrid Open
‘Time To Accept The Situation And Fight’ – Rafael Nadal Targets French Open Despite Foot Concern
Carlos Alcaraz showcases the changing landscape of men’s tennis
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy
(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids
Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
Focus2 days ago
Rafael Nadal Sizzles Past Thompson For 299th Grand Slam Win
Hot Topics3 days ago
WTA Council Member Sloane Stephens Says Wimbledon Points Ban Was The Right Thing To Do
Focus3 days ago
Ons Jabeur Suffers Shock Exit At Roland Garros To Magda Linette
Hot Topics2 days ago
Tim Henman Clashes With McEnroe Over Wimbledon Points Ban
ATP3 days ago
Two-Time Finalist Dominic Thiem Crashes Out Of French Open
ATP3 days ago
Felix Auger Aliassime Wins First Ever Roland Garros Match In Five Sets
Focus3 days ago
Roland Garros Daily Preview: Naomi Osaka Plays Amanda Anisimova in an Australian Open Rematch
Hot Topics3 days ago
Carlos Alcaraz Eases Past Lucky Loser Londero At French Open