Stefanos Tsitsipas says Roger Federer’s return to tennis has brought joy to both fans and players.
The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam winner returned to action this week after a near 14-month absence following knee surgery.
Federer, 39, overcame hitting partner Dan Evans in three sets - 7-6(8) 3-6 7-5 - in round one but fell in three sets - 6-3 1-6 5-7 - to world number 42 Nikoloz Basilashvili at the quarter-final stage.
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Tsitsipas - who announced his candidacy as an elite-level player by beating Federer in the Australian Open in 2019 – told the ATP website that players, as well as fans, were delighted by his return.
“He played well, although he lost,” Tsitsipas said.
I think for him it’s important to get a few more matches. Eventually I feel like he is going to get back on his feet and find his way, follow through. It just takes a few matches more, but I’m really happy for him that he’s back. It brings not just joy to the tennis community, but to the tennis players, too.
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Tsitsipas, 22, feels he will never reach Federer’s level but added that the 39-year-old continues to serve as a source of inspiration.
“Roger is also a source of inspiration,” Tsitsipas added.
I think it helps also with many aspects of my game. It’s nice seeing him play so I can kind of compare, although I’ll never be able to reach his level. But I still feel it’s something that I can look up to and admire, which is really nice.
Federer announced after his exit from the Qatar Open that he was pulling out of the upcoming ATP 500 event in Dubai, where he is an eight-time champion, to focus on his rehabilitation.
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