Much more was expected of Roger Federer's return to the circuit after more than a year of absence. The Swiss champion returned to Doha last March, but to the disappointment of his fans he was unable to return to 100% of his condition.
The 2021 of the former number 1 in the world went on file with just 13 matches played, as well as an unexciting balance of nine wins against four defeats. The 40-year-old from Basel played his last game at Wimbledon, where he was clearly beaten in the quarterfinals by Hubert Hurkacz.
The Pole also took away the satisfaction of giving him a bagel in the third set, while King Roger left the Center Court receiving a long standing ovation. A few weeks later, the 20-time Grand Slam champion announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and had to operate for the third time in the last year and a half.
Among the rivals who have scaled Federer this season is Pablo Andujar, who eliminated him in the second round of the ATP in Geneva. The Spaniard used the favorable momentum to shine at Roland Garros, in which he made up two sets of disadvantage to Dominic Thiem by winning the distance.
A feat as unexpected as it is prestigious, in the presence of a tennis player capable of reaching two finals in Paris.
Andujar on beating Roger Federer
"They are two victories (that are) a little different," Pablo Andujar told Punto de Break.
"I place tremendous value on both of them. It is true that Thiem's, being two sets to zero down against someone like him at Roland Garros, I give it a lot of value. Perhaps I place more value on the win over Thiem."
Andujar claimed that against Roger Federer, he had to overcome a mental barrier given the fact that he has idolized the 40-year-old Swiss from a young age. "I have Federer mythologized, idolized," Andujar revealed.
"I wasn't about having posters when I was little, but if I had to have someone, it would be Federer. It was more about overcoming a mental barrier. The victories are different." The Swiss Maestro came into 2021 on the back of multiple knee operations.
After missing over a year of competitive tennis action, the Swiss returned to the tour in Doha but was beaten by Nikoloz Basilashvili in his second match. He was then defeated in the second round in Geneva by Andujar.