Roger Federer has played his first match on Grass at the Halle Open since the 2019 Wimbledon final. In Germany’s ATP 500 event, Swiss Maestro has confirmed his second-round spot after a straight-set (7-6, 7-5) win over Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka.
In the post-match interview, the eight-time Wimbledon champion was asked about his return to the Grass surface after nearly a couple of years.
“I miss it. I have not played a tournament in two years on this surface. It is on the hard courts, the clay, the grass- I love playing here,” Federer replied.
Last year’s Grass court season did not occur due to the Coronavirus concerns, while this year’s events occur with a minimum crowd for the same reason.
Roger continued, “the very little crowd, a bit of a disappointment for all of us, but at the same time, as you said, I am excited to be back on the green grass and getting a win is always very nice.”
“That Was Crucial”: Roger Federer on First Set Tiebreaker
Speaking about first-round match experience, Federer detailed, “we can’t compare to the clay courts. You might get the rallies you are looking for, more service-winners aces. But, your opponent gets more on the return games than any other surface.”
The 10-time Halle Champion went to a tiebreaker to capture the first set against World No.90 from Minsk.
“I had a tough moment early on in the first set when you had breakpoints. That was crucial to get out of that, then played a good tiebreaker, which I was happy about. As the match went on, I started to get more opportunities, and It combed my nerves-calmed my nerves a bit. I’m happy and excited I was able to get through the first one,” Federer added.
When asked about his service, the 20-time Grand Slam explained, “It has been there throughout, in Geneva, in Paris, and the back is good. I feel it’s acceptable from that standpoint. It is really the legs and the match fitness I’m looking forward to, getting through breakers, like I did not Paris as well, getting through on a completely different surface. Staying.”
No.5 seed Roger Federer will face Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime or Polish Hubert Hurkacz for a quarterfinal place in Halle.