Roger Federer's first outing in Geneva at ATP level didn't breed success as he succumbed to a 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 defeat to Pablo Andujar.
Federer was playing his first match since March 11th in Doha, and despite a slow start, found himself 4-2 up in the decider before the Spaniard battled back to win four games in a row.
Recording victory in one hour and 52 minutes and disappointing the sparse corporate only crowd at the Parc des Eaux-Vives.
The premature end to Federer's tournament means he'll head into Roland Garros with just one clay-court match under his belt and now must consider how he can get enough match play to be a serious contender on the grass.
Quick Match Recap
Andujar won the toss and elected to serve. A solid start from the Spaniard saw him hold to fifteen, dictating with his forehand after Federer's groundstrokes dropped short.
Federer levelled after a deuce game for 1-1, but it was Andujar looking the sharper of the two, firing another love hold for 2-1.
Federer made his first inroads on the return in game five, with 15-30, but Andujar held to lead 3-2.
Federer was forced to serve to stay in the set, and despite neither playing holding breakpoints in the first nine games, he faltered, firing down a poor service game that finished with a shanked forehand.
Into set two, and Federer's decision to take up a Nadal like position on the return instantly bore fruit as he broke to lead 2-1.
That kickstarted the Swiss, and a speedy hold to love saw him consolidate for 3-1.
With that boost of confidence, Federer maintained his advantage, finding his range on the serve + forehand to lead 5-3.
Andujar held for 4-5, but Federer landed his first ace of the match en route to levelling at one set all.
The first game of the decider saw Federer create 15-30 with some nice variety, but Andujar held for 1-0.
Federer fashioned two break points in game three after pouncing with his forehand, but Andujar saved them to make deuce.
A third followed, and Federer converted, hanging tough in a rally then scampering to make a forehand pass after Andujar had tracked down a drop shot.
Federer fired down a love hold to consolidate and soon found himself 4-2 up to put himself in touching distance.
However, plans for the third round were premature as Andujar came up with some solid hitting to break back for 4-4.
A hold to fifteen then put the Spaniard up 5-4 up, and like set one, Federer couldn't find his range, missing a couple of routine balls, and despite saving two match points, a shank on the third allowed Andujar to move into the last eight.
|Roger Federer||Pablo Andujar|
|1st Serve||59% (48/81)||69% (58/84)|
|1st Serve Points Won||77% (37/48)||74% (43/58)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||58% (19/33)||62% (16/26)|
|Break Points Saved||40% (2/5)||50% (2/4)|
|Service Games Played||15||15|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||26% (15/58)||23% (11/48)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||38% (10/26)||42% (14/33)|
|Break Points Converted||50% (2/4)||60% (3/5)|
|Return Games Played||15||15|
|Service Points Won||69% (56/81)||70% (59/84)|
|Return Points Won||30% (25/84)||31% (25/81)|
|Total Points Won||49% (81/165)||51% (84/165)|
Thoughts on the Match
It’s good to be back on the court, but then you lost a match like this and you’re down. It never feels great. I was looking forward to playing here, no doubt about it. But this is a press conference where I have to explain how I feel about losing, which is never the greatest way of trying to explain why and how it all happened. But of course, there were moments where I was really happy to entertain the crowd and I was looking at the long road that I’ve been on from the comeback. Sure, it’s rewarding to be back on a tennis court. But I expect better from myself. I feel like in practice I’ve been playing better, even in practice here. But then again as we know, matches are a different animal. I’ve got my work cut out there. Federer on his loss to Andujar in Geneva.
So just one match for Federer in Geneva, and while you can't call it a huge upset, it's a bit of a surprise loss given Fed was able to go 4-2 up in the deciding set.
I thought he started exceptionally slowly in the first set and was struggling to find the court. There were no long rallies and way too many mistimed balls from Federer that went wayward or landed short in the court. Andujar is too good for that and mopped up accordingly.
Federer obviously recognised that and decided to stand deep on the return in set two, giving himself time and the chance to take full swings to get the ball in play.
Andujar doesn't possess any huge shots to really dominate on serve, and he's the type of player that will let you build a rhythm, so once Federer chose to start more rallies at neutral, he was able to find a groove and began to enjoy some success from the baseline.
That continued for the entirety of the second set and the first seven games of the third, but Andujar flipped it around, coming up with some solid hitting to break back and then taking advantage of Federer's misses to win their first-ever encounter.
Of course, at 4-2 in the third you feel like, ‘Oh, that’s nice that I was able to turn around the match.’ You start feeling better and that’s when it dips and everything is over 10 minutes later. But we know how tennis goes and that’s where it’s so brutal sometimes. But I feel like I didn’t deserve it at the end. There was just not enough happening in my game. I just could feel that as the moment was getting tougher, the game wasn’t there. Obviously, I was missing way too much maybe to come through even though I was up 4-3 and a break. The chances were all there. But again I thought he played good down the stretch and I just couldn’t come up with the goods. Federer on why he lost to Andujar
- Looked fine physically
- Served well in patches
- Offensive footwork to turn backhands into forehands working well
- Defensive work a little stabby / lungey
What did you guys think of the match? Let me know in the comments.