Returning to action only for the second time in the previous 15 months, Roger Federer decided to step on the clay court this spring and compete in Geneva and Paris ahead of his beloved grass. Seeking form ahead of Halle and Wimbledon, Federer couldn’t make a name for himself at the home ATP 250 event in Geneva, losing to Pablo Andujar 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 after an hour and 51 minutes. Competing on clay for the first time since the 2019 Roland Garros loss to Rafael Nadal, Roger found his rhythm against the Spaniard in set number two, producing sharp serves and groundstrokes and delivering one good hold after another to mount the pressure on the other side.
The Swiss sailed through his service games in set number two and grabbed an early break that forced a decider. Pablo suffered a break at 1-1 in the final set, with Federer opening a 4-2 advantage following his 12th commanding hold! Instead of bringing the match home, Federer started to spray errors and suffered breaks in games eight and ten to lose the lead and push Andujar over the finish line. Roger felt disappointed after the match, understanding it’s a part of the process and hoping for a better run at Roland Garros, Halle and Wimbledon.
Roger Federer wasted the advantage against Pablo Andujar in Geneva.
“I think when you played so little, and you know where your level is at, and I think you saw that today, how can I think of winning the French Open? I’m just realistic, and I know I will not win the French, and whoever thought I would or could go all the way in Paris is wrong. Of course, crazier things might have happened, but I’m not so sure in the last 50 years at the French Open, somebody just rocked up at 40-year-old, being out for a year and a half, and just go on to just win everything straight. Regardless of whether you play tournaments or not, if you’re back on the Tour or practicing again with top guys, you go through the rhythm… how it feels to be back on the Tour, and this is then how you start making better decisions. When I walk out of a match like today, I feel like ‘My God, I could play so much better.’ It feels strange, and it’s disappointing, but at the same time, this is the process I need to go through, and that’s why I can’t get too down on myself, and I need to go back to the drawing board,” Roger Federer said.