Federer beats Evans in first match for 14 months
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.