Roger Federer played his first official grass court match in almost two years, as it was not possible to play on these courts in 2020 due to the global pandemic. The former world number 1 overcame the first round of the 'Noventi Open' in Halle on Monday, liquidating classified Ilya Ivashka thanks to a score of 7-6 (4) 7-5.
The performance of the 20-time Grand Slam champion was not without its flaws, on the contrary, it showed that the Swiss is not yet in top condition. The 39-year-old from Basel brilliantly saved the two break points he faced during the match, but had to wait for the last game of the second set to remove the Belarusian.
After sealing his fifth win of the season, King Roger reiterated his desire to go far at Wimbledon in less than two weeks. According to ATP # 8, even a premature loss at Halle would not change his plans and expectations of him.
The next obstacle in his way will be Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Federer has played just three best-of-five matches
"I felt like I needed time to digest the third set," Roger Federer said. "I was unhappy how it ended, was similar to Geneva one.
I rather keep it short and simple, I rather take my time to come in, not sweaty and in the heat of it. Not sure what I'm gonna say in these moments, that's the reason why (I was late). I was very negative, which is not my style," Roger Federer continued.
"My attitude was bad, I'm not proud of it. That was disappointing. I don't want to make any stupid decisions now. We are now going back to Switzerland and have time to discuss what the next steps are." Federer also heaped praise on Felix Auger-Aliassime for his performance.
"I got a lot of information from my matches in the last weeks, changing surfaces is not easy," Federer said. "Felix is a great player and today he was better." Over the course of two decades, there are many records of Federer that will stand the test of time and one such statistic is his serve.
Even though the Swiss star isn’t the fastest of servers on the men’s tour, he maintained pin-point accuracy over the years in service games. As age progressed, Federer dropped his serve speed and relied on its variety.
He started using the kick-serve to good-effect. The inclusion of serve-and-volley to his playing style also helped the Swiss star to dictate points on grass.