Roger Federer made his highly anticipated return to the circuit a few weeks ago at the Qatar Open in Doha. The Swiss phenomenon was unable to go beyond the quarter-finals, but it was still a great start considering that the former world number 1 had been absent for almost 14 months.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion made it clear from the start that Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics are his main goals this year, not forgetting the US Open at the end of the summer and the fourth edition of the Laver Cup in Boston.
To regain some form, the 39-year-old from Basel had trained for two weeks with Dan Evans before the start of the ATP 250 in Doha. Destiny wanted the two to meet in the second round in Qatar, giving life to a spectacular match full of twists.
King Roger won in three battled sets before falling to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the next round. In a recent interview on the official ATP website, Evans analyzed the length of time he spent with Federer.
Evans on training with Roger Federer
“It’s been, it’s been good to get some good practice with, with Roger Federer, you know.
Yeah, it’s, it was good preparation for the sort of swing going on in Doha and Dubai although I didn’t do great" - Dan Evans said. Dan Evans won the first title of his career this year at the Murray River Open in Melbourne.
From there, he has surged to a career-high ranking of 26th and is looking to cash in on the training with Federer in the coming weeks. He said: “But I feel I’m in a good, good place with my tennis, hopefully, you know, win some matches this week and look back on that as you know good preparation”.
Federer spoke highly about his training partner in his post-match interview back at the Qatar Open and said, “It was a great match, Dan played a good match too. He’s been a wonderful training partner with me the last two weeks, we played over 20 sets”.
Roger Federer was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open as he hadn't fully recovered from his knee surgery and also because he wasn't prepared to adhere to the strict COVID-19 quarantine measures in Melbourne.
In the Swiss maestro's absence, 23-time Major winner Serena Williams was able to equal his record of 362 match wins on the Grand Slam stage. The American failed to break Federer's record though, as she was defeated by Naomi Osaka in their semifinal match.
Williams will next have a chance to leave Federer behind at Roland Garros. If Serena Williams doesn't overtake Roger Federer by the time Wimbledon and US Open roll around, the tables might turn in Federer's favor as he would be looking to make a deep run at both events.