Former World No.1 Roger Federer amazed everyone with his solid performance in his comeback at the Qatar Open 2021. However, the Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori admits that he did not expect high standard tennis from the Swiss Maestro, who did not play a competitive match from 31st January 2020 to 9th March 2021.
“He Played Two Solid Matches, That Was Great”, Kei Nishikori on Federer’s Come Back
On 10th March, the 20-time Grand Slam champion made his comeback at Doha’s ATP 250 event. And he played a tight match against British Dan Evans and Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Even though Roger Federer withdrew from the Dubai Tennis Championships 2021, Kei Nishikori advanced into the second round after defeating American Reilly Opelka in the three sets.
“He(Roger Federer) is a monster in a good way. He played two solid matches, that was great. I did not expect that after more than a year out. Nobody could have done that”, Nishikori stated in the post-match interview.
Former World No.4 also believes that Federer will become more robust, and they will lock horns again in a crucial tournament moment.“Hopefully, he can come back strong, and we can face each other on the court again.” a Florida resident added.
Roger and Kei Faced each other eleven times in the ATP Tour so far. The 39-years-old Swiss leads the 31-years-old Japanese 8-3 in their head-to-head series.
The 2017 Australian Open fourth round clash would be a great match in Federer and Nishikori rivalry. For a quarter-final spot, they battled three hours and 23 minutes on the Melbourne Park hardcourt.
In the end, the eventual champion and No.17 seed Roger Federer rallied past the No.5 seed Kei Nishikori in the five-setter 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.