Clay court return was special, says Roger Federer after winning Madrid opener

Michael Graham
Roger Federer at Madrid Open PA

Roger Federer described his triumphant return to cay court tennis as a ‘special night’ after beating Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-3 at the Madrid Open.

The 37-year-old, who last played competitively on the red dirt in 2016, looked like he’d never been away, needing just 53 minutes to send the Frenchman packing.

Afterwards, though, he admitted there were nerves ahead of the match.

“I’ve missed the clay-court season for some time now,” said Federer.

“It was a great return. It was a sort of special night for me.”

“I was actually very calm all day waiting for the match. I only felt the nerves when I was talking about the tactics.

“All of a sudden I was a bit nervous two hours before the match. But it all went away once the match started.”

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