Roger Federer shook off a quick bout of pre-match jitters as he returned to clay right after a a few-12 months absence, publishing a six-two, six-three gain above Richard Gasquet at the Madrid Open up.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner wanted just 52 minutes to brush Gasquet apart in the next spherical, but confessed he experienced to command his thoughts throughout afternoon match approach periods with his group.
“I was quite tranquil all working day, but two several hours right before, I was emotion it a little bit. But that was the only time,” Federer mentioned.
“The nerves went absent promptly, I’m just satisfied I started off properly.
“I’m happy to be back again.”
The a few-time Madrid winner past performed on clay pretty much a few a long time back, dropping to Dominic Thiem in the Rome 3rd spherical on May well 12, 2016.
Federer skipped the filth for two whole seasons to focus on his grass court docket type, successful Wimbledon in 2017.
He claimed the Madrid title in 2006, 2009, and 2012.
“I’ve been lacking the clay, this is a wonderful return, it is a unique evening for me,” he mentioned.
Federer swept up the opening established in 23 minutes and broke Frenchman Gasquet – who experienced defeated him two times on clay – for five-three in the next right before serving it out a sport afterwards.
Federer has gained 18 of 21 conferences with Gasquet, just back again from 6 months out with personal injury.
“I’ve educated properly, but that is not like a match. The details right here are faster and 1st matches any where can be challenging,” mentioned Federer.
“But I felt definitely purely natural on the clay tonight.”