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Roger Federer loses to Andújar on his return to clay

Roger Federer loses to Andújar on his return to clay

The Swiss Roger Federer was defeated this Tuesday in his debut in the Geneva tournament by the Spanish Pablo Andújar (No. 75 in the ranking), by 6-4, 4-6 and 6-4, in which it was the first match of the former number a world clay court in almost two years.

Less than two weeks after Federer’s expected return to Roland Garros, where he has only participated once since 2016, the Swiss was not very comfortable with his serve and in the third and final set he even missed a break advantage. .

None of the emerging young people on the ATP circuit had dared to attack the tyranny of the ‘Big 3’ and no one in the world had heard of covid-19 the last time Federer had set foot on a clay court.

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It was on June 7, 2019, when the Swiss lost in the semifinals of Roland Garros against his best enemy, the Spanish Rafael Nadal.

Since then, everything has changed: the pandemic completely altered the 2020 season and Federer underwent two knee operations that took him away from the courts from February of last year to March of 2021.

Two and a half months after his 40th birthday, Federer was playing his third match this year in Geneva and the Swiss did not do well, whose great goal is to reach 100% at Wimbledon, where he dreams of winning for the 9th time, a record in the men’s circuit, and add his 21st Grand Slam title in London.

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Much less comfortable than on the grass, Federer gave up the first set to Andújar, a tennis player he had never faced before and who took advantage of his only break ball to get an advantage.

Encouraged by the small audience present in the stands (barely a hundred) as a result of the restrictions due to the pandemic, Federer improved his level, with some flashes that recalled the magic that he had at the time in the racket, to balance the game.

In the third set, he again broke the Spanish’s serve in the third game, but Andújar managed to get 4-4 and enjoy three match points at 5-4. The third was the final one.

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Andújar’s was not the only Spanish victory on this day. Feliciano López, from the same fifth as Federer, defeated German Daniel Altmaier 7-6 (8/6) and 6-4.

Another veteran, Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, also made it through the first round after eliminating American Reilly Opelka, who had just lost to Nadal in the semi-finals in Rome.

Instead, the Spanish Fernando Verdasco, the Argentine Guido Pella and the Brazilian Thiago Monteiro were eliminated.

The ATP 250 tournament in Geneva takes place from May 16 to 22 and distributes $ 509,660 in prizes (419,470 euros). (GG) (AFP)

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