“Just the Legs”: Roger Federer Still Searching for Match Fitness Following 1R Victory at ATP Halle Open 2021

Published 06/14/2021, 11:13 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 250 – Geneva Open – Tennis Club de Geneve, Geneva, Switzerland – May 18, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer during his round of 16 match against Spain’s Pablo Andujar REUTERS/Denis Balibouse


Roger Federer has continued to get back into the groove in the 2021 season as he began his grass-court season at ATP Halle Open. He defeated Ilya Ivashka in the first round and now is on a four-match win-streak after withdrawing before the fourth round of French Open 2021.

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Roger Federer reacts after his match. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Federer is playing on grass after two years. His absence from the tour due to his surgery and the coronavirus pandemic had delayed the famous reunion. Now, Federer is back on his preferred surface and he is buzzing after the win.

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“Yeah, I missed it, haven’t played a tournament in two years on this surface. I have done the hard courts, have done the clay, and have done the grass, so it’s been great playing in Halle, love playing here.

“Just you know very little crowd, it’s obviously a bit of a disappointment for all of us. But at the same time, I am excited to be back on the green grass, and getting a win is obviously very nice.”

Analyzing his match, Federer was happy with his serve despite early troubles. But the Swiss master is still short of his desired movement and hence is in need of more matches.

“Had a tough moment early won an was crucial to get out of that and then played a great tiebreak to calm my nerves. I served very well. My serve has been there all the time this year. I feel fine. It’s just the legs. I’m looking for matches”.

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Federer was rather put to test against Ivashka. The Swiss master wasn’t really pouncing much and was playing a safer game. Obviously, Federer was a bit rusty and Ivashka was slightly ahead. Federer was hesitant to attack Ivashka’s serve and hence couldn’t capitalize on any loose balls.

The first set had gone into the tiebreaker, until which Federer had won just two points off Ivashka’s serve. In the tiebreaker, Federer dominated and raced to 6-1. He would require the fourth set point to win the tiebreaker, 7-4.

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The second set was a copy of the first set. It was cagey, and both served well. Although Federer’s forehand was a bit more potent. With Federer serving first, he always had a slight advantage. At 5-4, Federer saw his first break point in the match which was also the match point. However, Ivashka saved it to extend the second set.

But at 6-5, Ivashka felt the nerves as his forehand crippled him and Federer saw three match points. Federer finally won the fourth match point to take the match, 7-6, 7-5.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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