Federer victorious on clay court return

10
Federer victorious on clay court return

Roger Federer emerged victorious from his first clay court match since 2016, recording a 6-2, 6-3 Madrid Open win over Richard Gasquet. The 37-year-old elected to skip the clay season in 2017 and 2018 in order to stay fit for Wimbledon but confirmed in January that he would participate this year. After skipping the Monte Carlo Masters, he made his first appearance seeded fourth in the Spanish capital and took just 53 minutes to reach the third round of the tournament, having been given a bye in the first round. "It's been a special night for me to come back and play here," fourth seed Federer said. "I was very calm all day waiting for the match, sometimes nerves can come up when you're waiting all day but only felt them when I started talking about tactics. "They went away and I played a great match." The win takes Federer's head-to-head lead to 18-2 over Gasquet, who was playing his first tournament of 2019, having recovered from a long-standing groin injury. Federer, a three-time champion in Madrid, will face either Gael Monfils or Marton Fucsovics in the round of 16.