Roger Federer hadn’t played tennis for 13 months: partly the Coronavirus pandemic that closed any type of tournament until late summer, partly the decision already taken not to compete on clay to avoid tormenting a physique tried by age and ailments. He would have played at Wimbledon, but the Championships have been canceled – unlike the other Slams: so Federer then chose not to show up at the Australian Open which reopened what should be the season of normalcy (crossing his fingers) thus returning to Doha, for an ATP 250 tournament. Not the most sparkling event on the circuit, but if there is a legend on the field that has not been seen for over a year ago, all soup. Well, Federer beat Daniel Evans in almost two and a half hours: result 7-6 3-6 7-5, complete with a comeback in the third set managing to increase the engine rpm when needed most. It was the second round: Nikoloz Basilashvili awaits him in the next round, who five years ago at Melbourne Park picked up just 5 games against the King. Both Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have returned to the winner’s circle on the ATP tour this week, after enduring a string of physical setbacks over the past year.
Tsonga did not compete in 2020 after the Australian Open
Speaking after his loss to Humbert, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claimed that his and Roger Federer’s comebacks could provide hope to many in the world who are going through their own personal struggles. “Beyond the performance, it gives hope to a lot of people,” Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said. “Because I’m sure there are a lot of people watching us, who may be tennis players or not, who may have other injuries, or many other things that are difficult. And it’s good to give people hope,” the Frenchman added. “I think that through Roger Federer’s performance (and mine), we give people hope and that’s great.” Tsonga also empathized with Federer, given that he has himself undergone surgeries on both his knees in the past. “Unbelievable. It’s beautiful,” Tsonga said. “I know what it’s like to have the knees operated on, because I have had both (knees operated). Anyway, I know what it is (laughs). When you’re out for a while (to comeback and win) it’s wonderful,” he added. “It’s Roger Federer too. He plays good tennis. I think it is great.” Like Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did not compete in 2020 after the Australian Open. The Frenchman was hampered by back issues for almost the entire season, and returned only in February this year.