Roger Federer, who was making his return to competition in Doha after a thirteen-month hiatus, was beaten Thursday in his second match by the 42nd Georgian world leader Nikoloz Basilashvili (3-6, 6-1, 7-5).
“I have come from so far that I am happy to have been able to play two matches in quick succession in three sets.” Roger Federer was positive this Thursday evening, after suffering a defeat in the second game of his comeback on the circuit. In Doha, the Swiss lost (3-6, 6-1, 7-5) against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, 42nd in the world.
“I’m not 100% yet, I can see it, I can feel it. But the goal is to be 100% for the grass season,” said Roger Federer, 40 in August. Visibly tired after having already played three sets and spent 2:24 on the court for his return match the day before against Daniel Evans, the champion must decide “within 24 hours” if he lines up in Dubai next week.
“What comes before the grass season is clay. So I have no choice but to play on clay if I want to play games,” he also announced. beating can be good or bad for me. I will only know in practice. But I don’t think it will be a bad thing. “
Missed match point
After confidently winning the first round, Roger Federer lost his footing in the second. Committing too many faults, dominated in the rally, he allowed the opponent to return to the game. In the third set, the Swiss first dismissed several break points at 4-3, before getting a match point at 5-4 on the opposing service.
Unlike the day before, where he had significantly increased his level of play and risk-taking at the end of the third set, Federer seemed incapable of doing so against Basilashvili. And it was the Georgian who took his opponent’s face-off to lead 6-5 and serve for the match. He got three match points and finished on the third.
“He has always been my idol”
“It’s incredible, he’s one of the greatest players of all time. It meant so much to me to play him, he has always been my idol,” said Nikoloz Basilashvili, who will face American Taylor Fritz. (33rd world), Friday for a place in the final.
After his semi-final of the Australian Open in January 2020 (lost to Novak Djokovic) and an exhibition match in early February against Rafael Nadal in South Africa, Roger Federer decided to undergo arthroscopy in his right knee which bothered him for several years already. The suspension of the circuit, a more complicated recovery than expected and a second arthroscopy of the same knee in May led him to cut completely from the competition until Wednesday.