Roger Federer marked his eagerly-awaited return to action after more than a year with some vintage tennis as he beat Dan Evans 7-6(8) 3-6 7-5 at the Qatar Open on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old Swiss had not played a competitive match for 405 days and underwent two knee surgeries in 2020, but clicked smoothly back into gear against the British number one.
It was a magical moment for Federer who said it had been a long and tough road since his last match, a semi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Australian Open.
“It feels good to be back, happy to be standing here whether I won or lost. I was tired and focused on being tired rather than winning the points. If I was going to go out, I wanted to go out swinging. Incredibly happy about my performance and it was nice to finish with a backhand winner down the line,” he said.