Roger Federer: 'The only thing I can feel at any one time is age'

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Roger Federer: 'The only thing I can feel at any one time is age'

Roger Federer played his first official grass match in nearly two years, as it was not possible to play on these courts in 2020 due to the global pandemic. The former world number 1 passed the first round of the 'Noventi Open' in Halle on Monday, settling the qualifier Ilya Ivashka thanks to a score of 7-6 (4) 7-5.

The performance of the 20-time Grand Slam champion was not without flaws, on the contrary it showed that the Swiss is not yet in top condition. The 39-year-old from Basel brilliantly saved both of the break points he faced during the match, but had to wait for the last game of the second set to take the Belarusian off.

After sealing his fifth win of the season, King Roger reiterated his desire to go far in Wimbledon in less than two weeks. According to ATP number 8, even a premature defeat in Halle would not change her plans and expectations of him.

The next obstacle in his path will be Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Federer played his first match on grass in nearly two years

"We're all in the same boat," Roger Federer said. "Everyone else hasn't played on the grass either for the last couple of years.

My goals for Wimbledon are clearly quite high. But if it doesn't work out in Halle, I have another week's practice. I had a tough moment in the first set when he had a break point so that was crucial to get out of those and then I played a really good tiebreaker which I was happy about," Federer said.

"I think as the match went on I started to create more opportunities and started to calm my nerves a little bit; overall I think I served very well. Clearly it can always be a little better but I'm happy and excited that I was able to get through the first one," Roger Federer continued.

"The back is good, I feel fine from that standpoint. It's just really the legs and the match fitness that I'm looking forward to and getting through breakers. The only thing I can feel at any one time is age," Federer said.

"I'm a bit stiff for the first five minutes (after waking up) until my first coffee. But I think everyone has that." Speaking to reporters after opening his campaign at ATP Halle 2021 with a closely fought win over Belarussian qualifier Ilya Ivashka on Monday, Federer said that from the strains of the discourse these days it seems like only the Grand Slams matter and not the other Tour championship wins.

The eight-time Wimbledon champion says he doesn’t like how the modern-day discourse seems to link tennis greatness to Grand Slam titles. “Looks like it’s only Grand Slam titles that matter these days. And I don’t like that,” Federer said.