FILE - Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during his Qatar Open first round match against Great Britain's Dan Evans. Photo: Samer Al-Rejjal/Reuters
FILE - Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during his Qatar Open first round match against Great Britain's Dan Evans. Photo: Samer Al-Rejjal/Reuters

Roger Federer loses in second match after return from injury

By AFP Time of article published Mar 11, 2021

Share this article:

DOHA – Roger Federer squandered a match point and was knocked out of the Qatar Open by Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili on Thursday in just his second match since a 13-month injury absence.

The 20-time Grand Slam title winner, who underwent two knee surgeries in 2020, secured the first set but eventually wilted and lost the quarter-final tie, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.

On Wednesday, the 39-year-old marked his first match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals in January 2020 by defeating Britain's Dan Evans, also in three sets.

ALSO READ: 'Retirement never on cards,' says Federer ahead of eagerly-awaited return

"He's one of the greatest tennis players of all time," said world number 42 Basilashvili who will face Taylor Fritz of the United States for a place in the final.

"I'm very happy that he's coming back and playing again. Of course to win against him it's a dream come true. He was an idol."

Basilashvili, who arrived at the Qatar Open with a 2-13 record since the resumption of the sport in August, managed two aces in a row in the second set, clearly unsettling the Swiss three-time Doha champion.

In the third set, Federer dug deep to clinch an epic seventh game, coming back from three break points to keep the contest alive.

But after saving a match point, the 29-year-old Basilashvili broke Federer's serve to go up 6-5, before serving out for a famous win.

AFP

Share this article:

Related Articles