Roger Federer won his first match contested in over a year Wednesday as the 20-time Grand Slam champion returned from injury to beat British number one Dan Evans at the Qatar Open.
Federer, who underwent two knee surgeries in 2020, still proved a tough opponent for an in-form Evans who ultimately succumbed 7-6 (10/8), 3-6, 7-5 after an epic tussle lasting two hours and 24 minutes. The Swiss great had not played a match since a semi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January 2020 (405 days ago) – and acknowledged it was unusual for a player of his age to return after injury. The 39-year-old had to battle, saving a set point against a player who was a recent training partner.
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.