Dan Evans has slotted into place as the opponent when Roger Federer makes his return to tennis after more than a year away with a second-round match at the Qatar Open.

The Wednesday evening event will mark the comeback effort for Federer, who missed nearly all of 2020 after two knee procedures.

Evans booked his spot against the 39-year-old Swiss icon through a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 win on Tuesday over Jeremy Chardy in Doha.

The Brit served as a hitting partner for two weeks recently at Federer’s training base in Dubai; the 20-time Grand Slam champion has won all five of their previous matches in straight sets.

“This match  will be .tougher for me by a long stretch,” he said. “Even if I saw Roger’s game, it will be a difficult task.

“He looked fit and if he’s fit tomorrow it will be difficult.  But I should enjoy the occasion.”

Federer said that his main goal for the comeback is to be fit by the time the grass season starts in the summer.

He will see how he goes this week before making any more scheduling decisions.

“His goals are probably a bit bigger than just winning on the Tour,” Evans said. “I don’t think he’s coming back just to nip to a few 250 (level) tournaments.

“It’s good that he’s back for him and for tennis. we will get to see him play some more.”


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