Swiss tennis superstar Roger Federer was in great spirits after making a successful return to the courts on Wednesday at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. Federer, a former world No. 1, survived a tricky opener at the tournament as he edged out top-ranked British tennis player Daniel Evans 7-6 (8) 6-3 7-5 to reach the Doha quarterfinal.
“It feels good to be back,” Federer said in an on-court interview, per the ATP website. “I am happy to be standing here regardless of if I won or lost, but obviously winning feels better. It was a good match.
Dan played a good match too. He has been a wonderful training partner as well. Over the past two weeks, we played over 20 sets and it went on [tonight]”.
Federer delivered in key moments
Evans had the lone break point of the first set in the ninth game but didn't convert so the sent went into a tie-break a few games later.
In the tie-break, Federer saved a set point before converting his third set point to win an extremely tight opener. After losing a tight first set, Evans saved a break point in the first game before claiming the first break of the match in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead.
The Briton then held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a decider. In the third set, Evans saved a match point on his serve in the 10th game but couldn't do the same two games later as Federer escaped with a tight win.
“It has been a long and tough road for me. I enjoyed it though,” said Federer. “It has been a huge challenge of mine in my tennis career and to come back at my age is not something that is very simple. I have had a wonderful team around myself that always supported me throughout.
That made it much easier and it was worth it because I played a good match today”. Federer plays next against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.