Second-seeded Roger Federer returned to the ATP Tour after a 405-day absence caused by two knee surgeries and outlasted Brit Daniel Evans 7-6 (8), 3-6, 7-5 on Wednesday in the second round of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
Federer recorded 13 aces in his first match since initially undergoing surgery on his right knee in February 2020, not long after playing in the 2020 Australian Open. The 39-year-old from Switzerland said after the nearly 2 1/2-hour match that it hasn’t been an easy path back to the court.
“It has been a long and tough road for me. I enjoyed it, though,” Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, said afterward. “It has been a huge challenge of mine in my tennis career, and to come back at my age is not something that is very simple.”
Federer will next face Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, who defeated Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-2.
Top-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria advanced with a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 win over Russia’s Aslan Karatsev. Among other seeded players to win were Russia’s Andrey Rublev (No. 3), Canada’s Denis Shapovalov (No. 4) and Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut (No. 5). American Taylor Fritz upset sixth-seeded Belgian David Goffin 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (9).
Chile Dove Men+Care Open
Denmark’s Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune converted 82.4 percent of his first-serve points while rolling to a 6-2, 6-3 upset of second-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire at Santiago, Chile.
The 17-year-old Rune, ranked 410th in the world, faced very little trouble while prevailing in 61 minutes.
Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis upset fifth-seeded American Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2). Fourth-seeded Laslo Djere of Serbia rallied for a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Portugal’s Pedro Sousa and eighth-seeded Federico Delbonis of Argentina notched a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Slovakia’s Andrej Martin.
Open 13 Provence
Third-seed Russian Karen Khachanov posted six aces while registering a 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory over American Mackenzie McDonald in second-round play at Marseille, France.
Fourth-seeded Ugo Humbert beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-4 in a battle of Frenchmen while fifth-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over France’s Hugo Gaston.
Unseeded Matthew Ebden of Australia defeated Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2, 6-2. Also, Egor Gerasimov of Belarus and Cameron Norrie of Great Britain won first-round matches.
–Field Level Media