The tennis great Roger Federer finally made his way on the tennis court after a 13-month break. Federer, who was forced to sit out due to knee injury after last playing in the Australian Open in January 2020, played his first match after the layoff to take on British No 1 Dan Evans at the Qatar Open 2021.
However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion lost his very second match on return to Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Qatar Open 2021. Federer although secured the first set but eventually wilted 3-6, 6-1, 7-5. The 39-year-old Swiss star later decided to resume training, despite the result going against his favour and withdraw from Dubai Open.
It’s been great to be back on the @atptour , loved every minute playing in Doha once again. 🙌🏼
A big thank you to the best and loyal team that helped me get here. 🙏🏼
I’ve decided it’s best to go back to training and as a result, I’ve decided to withdraw from Dubai next week. 🏋🏽 pic.twitter.com/zp65Jt832n
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) March 11, 2021
After the win against the former World No 1, Basilashvili was quotes as saying, “I’m very happy that he’s coming back and playing again. Of course to win against him it’s a dream come true. He was an idol.”
WATCH: Federer makes slight change in his service to lessen the strain on back
Although the Federer supporters were taken over by his return on the tennis court, a slight change was observed. Known for his spectacle serve toss motion, the sight this time was a little different. Returning after more than a year hiatus, this is what was observed.
2021, 2019, 2011
Tough to see the difference but how the racquet is dropping less than it used to.
Today in Doha I don't think he hit a single serve over 200kmh. pic.twitter.com/ir9dImZLlE
— Jack Han (@JhanHky) March 11, 2021
Bending in full motion after tossing & hitting the ball with full arch, this time the bend was slightly less thus reducing the power at which the ball hit the racquet. He was seen hitting the ball with the minimum forward bent to eventually minimize the strain on the back.
Known for winning the game on the back of serve points, the 39-year-old lost a few kilometers of speed in his service and that was reflected on his points during the recently concluded Qatar Open.