Struggling with a knee injury and skipping almost an entire 2020 season, Roger Federer played his first match at Majors in nearly 500 days at the last year’s Roland Garros. Roger made a perfect start at Roland Garros, toppling Denis Istomin in straight sets and sealing the deal in an hour and 33 minutes.
It was Roger’s third ATP tournament within 16 months, and he gave his best to gain momentum ahead of his beloved grass swing in Halle and Wimbledon. After beating Istomin, Federer said he gained a bit of motivation when Daniel Evans toppled world no.
1 Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo. The Swiss had previously defeated the Briton in his comeback match in Doha a few weeks earlier, which motivated him to push hard and challenge the rivals from the top. Despite some expected ups and downs after such a long break , Roger beat Daniel 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 in Doha in two hours and 24 minutes, making 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. 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!
Evans played against another legend a few weeks later 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 spoke about Novak Djokovic at the last year’s Roland Garros.
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 could not 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. The Briton delivered better tennis in the pivotal moments to emerge at the top. Federer and Djokovic were scheduled to play in the Roland Garros quarter-final.
That did not happen after the Swiss withdrew ahead of the fourth-round clash against Matteo Berrettini to preserve his knee for the grass swing. “Daniel Evans defeated Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo, which motivates me a bit, as I beat Daniel in Doha.
It does not mean I would beat Novak in Paris, as he should defeat me in straight sets, but my level is not that far from the players from the top,” Roger Federer said.