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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

before Paris, Roger Federer resumes his marks on the clay courts of Geneva

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He is back. Roger Federer, No. 8 worldwide, (re) launched his season Tuesday, May 18, at the Geneva Open (May 16-22), for his first match on the ocher surface in 2021. Exempted from the first round as a number 1 seed , he will be opposed to the Spaniard Pablo Andujar (76th) in the second round. A first step on earth with an even higher goal.

The Swiss, who had been forced to withdraw from the Australian Open at the start of the season, had already appeared on the courts in March, in Doha, where he had chained two matches. After more than a year of absence due to knee surgery and Covid-19, he had shown a more than correct level of play. He had won his first match at the expense of Briton Daniel Evans, then lost the second, in the quarter-finals, not without having obtained a match point, against Nikoloz Basilashvili, future winner of the tournament.

Announced present for the Masters 1000 of Madrid last week, the Switzerland preferred to delay its resumption on clay at the last moment and play for the first time in the Geneva tournament, an ATP 250 where the table, much less raised than in Madrid, should allow it to continue meetings. The important thing is to play matches (…) Anything that will help me reach 100% on grass, I will do it“, he said.

Even though Roger Federer was away for a while, observers and supporters alike remain confident about his physical condition in Geneva, where he will obviously be the headliner of the tournament. Thierry Grin, the tournament director, says in the Swiss magazine Illustrated that Federer “does not come to say hello. He’s coming to win matches ahead of his big goal, Wimbledon. “

On the shores of Lake Geneva, where his first training balls on Friday turned on social networks, the world No. 8 will therefore compete in the second round against Pablo Andujar (76th), a true surface specialist. In the Swiss table, ambitious young people like Cristian Garin (22nd), Casper Ruud (16th) and Denis Shapovalov (14th) in the final.

The larger calibers will then wait for him at Roland Garros, where the 39-year-old Swiss remains on a semi-final loss in 2019 to Rafael Nadal. “I think everyone misses Federer when he’s not on the tour, for his style, the way he plays. I’m looking forward to Roland Garros and Wimbledon to see him play again“, assured Dominic Thiem (4th) in Rome.

The Austrian, two-time finalist on Parisian clay and winner of his first Grand Slam tournament last year at the US Open, is convinced that Federer will take all the place he has had for nearly twenty years in the tournaments. “He’s so good, he has such unreal abilities that I don’t think it’s a big deal for him not to play for that long. If he’s 100% physically, I guess he will be able to move forward enough. far in the tables“, he estimated.

In his sights, Roland-Garros, of course, where he reached the semi-finals during his last appearance in 2019 and where he has always reached the second week since 2004, then Wimbledon where he was crowned eight times. , and finally the Olympic Games, where he seeks his first gold medal in singles (he had the money in 2012), he who has already won gold in doubles (with Stan Wawrinka in 2008). Three challenges that he hopes to meet in the year of his 40th birthday, to finally reach this 21st Grand Slam coronation behind which he has been racing since the 2018 Australian Open.


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