Competing in his first match at Majors in almost 500 days, Roger Federer made an impressive start at Roland Garros, beating Denis Istomin in an hour and 33 minutes. Roger is playing only the third ATP tournament in the past 16 months, struggling with a knee injury and undergoing two surgeries in 2020.
Eager to return at his best a couple of months before turning 40, Federer uses Roland Garros to gain momentum ahead of Halle and Wimbledon, where he wants to chase titles and fight against the rivals from the top again. After beating Istomin, Federer said he gained a bit of motivation when Daniel Evans toppled world no.
1 Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo, as he previously defeated the Briton in his comeback match in Doha a few weeks earlier. Despite some expected ups and downs after such a long break, Roger beat Daniel 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 24 minutes for a winning return after 405 days!
Federer and Evans had trained in Dubai ahead of Doha, playing 20 practice sets and learning a lot about each other's game, which was evident on the court in Doha. Both players saved three out of four break chances, and Federer won four points more to prevail with a late break in the decider, his only in the entire match!
A few weeks later, Evans played against another legend and scored a career-best victory. The Briton came to Monte Carlo with four ATP victories on clay and none since 2017! Daniel found his A-game in the Principality and defeated world no.
1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and six minutes to advance into the quarters.
Roger Federer beat Daniel Evans in Doha before the Briton ousted Novak Djokovic.
Novak struggled with the conditions and the rival's slices and changes of pace to suffer the season's first loss.
He fired 28 winners and 45 unforced errors and couldn't find the timing, spraying too many mistakes from his backhand wing. Evans played better in the mid-range exchanges and endured all the efforts to overpower Novak in straight sets and celebrate the most notable victory at 30.
Daniel fended off seven out of ten break chances and stole Novak's serve five times from seven opportunities, delivering better tennis in the pivotal moments to emerge at the top. Federer and Djokovic will meet in the Roland Garros quarter-final if they both pass the following three obstacles, as they both won the first-round encounters.
"Daniel Evans defeated Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo, and that motivates me a bit, as I beat Daniel in Doha. It doesn't mean I would beat Novak in Paris, as he should beat me in straight sets, but my level is not that far from the players from the top," Roger Federer said.