Federer dumped out in Geneva in first match in two months
Issued on: Modified:
Geneva (AFP) –
Roger Federer lost the first match of his comeback-proper on Tuesday as the Swiss tennis great tumbled out of the Geneva Open on his first outing in two months.
Federer lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the second round to Spanish clay court specialist Pablo Andujar to wreck the 39-year-old's hopes of stringing a run of matches together ahead of the French Open, Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
Federer returned to the courts in March, having been out for more than a year following two knee surgeries, winning his first match in Doha before losing his second.
He was hoping to find some form on the Geneva clay but tumbled at the first hurdle.
Federer waved to the few dozen masked spectators dotted around the Eaux-Vives centre court, with the attendance limited due to local coronavirus restrictions.
Fans gathered in the woods outside the tennis club for a glimpse of Federer through the fence.
Federer seemed at ease in his movement but took a bit of time to get into his groove, getting only 40 percent of his first serves in during the first set, which he lost by overhitting a second serve.
In the second set, Federer won his first service game to love then broke for a 2-1 lead.
He began to show flashes of the old magic, throwing in occasional backhand drop shots.
He overhit his first set point but made no mistake with the second.
Federer broke to go 2-1 up in the second set, drawing Andujar to the net and beating him with a backhand passing shot.
Andujar broke back to make it 4-4 and held serve to leave Federer serving to stay in the match.
Andujar had two match points but Federer pulled it back to deuce before misfiring to hand his opponent victory.
Federer shook his head as he walked to the net, while Andujar, 35, looked like he could not believe what he had pulled off, in what was remarkably their first match despite the Spaniard having turned professional in 2003.
Andujar will face either Marton Fucsovics, the 2018 Geneva winner, or Swiss teenager Dominic Stricker, the 2020 French Open boys' champion, in the quarter-finals.
© 2021 AFP