Roger Federer, a 20-time Major Champion, had experienced the longest hiatus of his career since last year's Australian Open, staying off the court for 13 months. Struggling with a knee injury and undergoing two surgeries in February and May last year, Federer returned to the court in March and played five tournaments before taking another break after the third surgery.
Roger defeated Daniel Evans in Doha in tight three sets before blowing a match point against Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarters. Two months later, Federer returned to the court at home in Geneva, returning to clay for the first time in two years and suffering a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 loss to Pablo Andujar in the second round despite a 4- 2 advantage in the decider.
At Roland Garros, Federer scored three victories in the same event for the first time since last year's Australian Open, doing his best to find form ahead of his beloved turf season. Alexander Zverev praised his idol after advancing to the round of 16 in Paris, saying Federer always finds a way to wear his best tennis and celebrating the veteran's move after a long break and two surgeries.
Starting his 80th Major event, Roger defeated Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 33 minutes. The Swiss delivered strong and aggressive blows, losing 13 points on serve and securing five breaks that took him to the top in one of his quickest Roland Garros victories.
Latest update on Roger Federer
During a recent conversation at a sponsorship meeting in Zurich, Roger Federer claimed that he has gotten past the most difficult part. "I'm feeling actually really good, considering you know that things are not (as bad) as I expected they would be," Federer said to the sports information service SID.
"I'm recovering well and rehab is going really good, I must say. I've had no setbacks you know, and everyday is a better day. I'm feeling strong and excited for what's to come. I experienced it of course last year and I was actually surprised at how easy it was for me to go through the rehab process," Federer said.
"I know it's not everyone's favorite thing to do as a top athlete but I think after all these years of travel it was also nice to be home and having more time for the family." Roger Federer also expressed hope about returning to action "as quick as possible", but cautioned that he needs to take it one step at a time.
"Of course, I wish I could be back on the tennis court as quick as possible, but I have to be patient," he added. "Look it's a slow period right now, I gotta take it step-by-step. So far, so good, so I'm very happy."