“Still Put Him as Favorite”: French Star on Roger Federer’s Comeback at ATP Doha 2021

Published 03/10/2021, 8:40 AM EST
Roger Federer of Switzerland looks on during his Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match against Tennys Sandgren of the United States on day nine of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)


French tennis star Lucas Pouille has shared his thoughts on the return of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to competitive tennis later on Wednesday.

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Speaking to the media after winning his fourth-round tie at ATP Marseille on Wednesday, the 27-year-old Pouille said, like thousands of Federer fans across the world, he is also delighted with the Swiss maestro making a comeback.

Roger Federer will play Englishman Dan Evans in his comeback match in Doha on Wednesday

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The former World Number 1 took an extended break from the sport after undergoing a second surgery on a troublesome knee last year. He not only missed the bulk of the tennis action last year, but also announced his withdrawal from this year’s Australian Open, saying that his recovery was behind schedule.

However, Federer later issued a statement saying he would return to competitive tennis at the ongoing Qatar Open.

The Swiss will play Englishman Dan Evans in his tournament opener on Wednesday evening.

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates his victory over David Goffin of Belgium in the Rolex Shanghai Masters at the Qi Zhong Tennis Centre in Shanghai, China. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Pouille said with his only engagement of the day, the round-of-32 clash in Marseille, done and dusted, he will be catching Federer’s comeback match live on television.

“It will be interesting to see how he feels, in the year or so since he hadn’t played,” the Frenchman said, predicting a “good game against Evans”.

Federer favorite but lack of match time could cost comeback tie, says Lucas Pouille

Lucas added that though the Swiss has been on the sidelines for arguably the longest time in his career, he will remain the “favorite”.

“Even if he quits for 10 years, he will come back and the numbers will speak and they will still put him as the favorite,” Pouille said.

However, he did concede that while Federer’s superior skill-set will always put him ahead in the Evans clash, his lack of match time could even out the contest.

The Frenchman added that while his heart says Federer, his head doesn’t as it’s never easy to make a winning return from an injury break of this nature.

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“Personally, my expectations were not very high at the beginning and they still are not, it takes time to really find the rhythm, level and confidence,” Pouille said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google Translate)

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Federer himself played down his chances in the tournament, saying he would be happy if he manages to win even a couple of matches.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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