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Federer beats Evans in first match for 14 months

Federer beats Evans in first match for 14 months
March 11, 2021

DOHA (Reuters) - Roger Federer marked his eagerly-awaited return to action after more than a year with some vintage tennis as he beat Dan Evans 7-6(8) 3-6 7-5 at the Qatar Open on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old Swiss had not played a competitive match for 405 days and underwent two knee surgeries in 2020, but clicked smoothly back into gear against the British number one.

A socially-distanced evening crowd at the Khalifa Tennis Complex were treated to a high-quality duel with Evans pushing the 20-times Grand Slam champion to the limit.

Federer showed great physical condition and kept his nose in front in the deciding set before pouncing in the 12th game to rifle a backhand winner down the line on his second match point.

It was a magical moment for Federer who said it had been a long and tough road since his last match, a semi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Australian Open.