Federer beaten on clay-court return in Geneva

The 39-year-old led Pablo Andujar 4-2 in the third set but lost his way with the finishing line in sight

Roger Federer Roger Federer in action during his second-round match in Geneva AI / REUTERS / PANORAMIC

Roger Federer let slip a 4-2 lead in the deciding set as he was beaten 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory by Spaniard Pablo Andujar on his return to the ATP Tour in the Gonet Geneva Open on Tuesday.

In his first match since March and his first outing on clay since 2019, the 39-year-old former world No 1, who had two knee operations in 2020, lacked rhythm in the opening set but raised his game brilliantly to level the match and break early in the third set.

But with the finishing line in sight, Federer blinked and world No 75 Andujar broke back for 4-4 and though Federer saved two match points, the Spaniard broke again to clinch victory, putting his hands to his head almost in disbelief.

Andujar will meet either Marton Fucsovics of Hungary or Swiss teenager Dominic Stricker, who upset Marin Cilic on Tuesday, in the last eight, while Federer will now head back to the practice court ahead of Roland-Garros.

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