By Ros Satar at the O2, London
- Roger Federer joined Andy Murray for his ‘Andy Murray Live’ charity exhibition in Glasgow
- Felt Murray’s performance was ‘encouraging’ and had not expected him to be so ready
LONDON, UK – Roger Federer arrived at the O2 fresh from playing in Andy Murray‘s charity exhibition and had encouraging thoughts about the British No. 1’s long injury layoff.
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Six-time ATP World Tour Finals champion Roger Federer has had the season he has enjoyed thanks to some rigid scheduling. He had joked in his pre-tournament press conference that while he arrived at the O2 fresh, the reason was that he could not put away 25 tournaments a year anymore.
Federer took the decision to skip the Paris Masters after winning Basel for a an eighth time, with the only event on the horizon his first tennis outing in Glasgow, repaying Andy Murray the favour in his charity exhibition.
He said, after a winning start to his ATP World Tour Finals campaign: “It was a great feeling to be on a court again with him. I’ve missed him. I love teaming up. I think we could do more of it. It’s just always tough to have those exhibitions organised, and where you place them in the calendar year because there’s tournaments from January to November. It’s just always packed. That was a nice thing to do.”
“In terms of Andy, I thought, considering that he has been totally out of the spotlight, I think in some ways it was a brave move for him to just put himself out there, give it a go. Nobody really knew how he was doing. It would have been easy for him to just say, You know what, I’ll have somebody else play. Tickets are sold out. Roger is coming. I can make somebody else play Roger maybe. It will be still maybe a successful story.”
“I think the fans were excited to see Andy play. He got great support, which I was happy to see in my rival’s home country. To see him getting this much support was beautiful.”
The whole affair was good natured, with Federer donning a kilt, before handing Murray a ginger wig and Tam o’Shanter hat, teasing Murray he ought to wear it all the time, after he banged down an ace to get himself out of trouble!
Federer continued: “I was actually happy how he was playing. Definitely he can move better, he can serve better. We know all these things. For a start, I think it was actually quite encouraging and actually okay.”
Murray has signed up with Tennis Australia to start his season Down Under for the next three years, with the ambitious view to start 2018 in Brisbane. In fact, Murray had previously picked the Hopman Cup team competition a couple of times in the past to kick off his season, and it seems to have served him well as he still searches for that elusive Australian Open title.
Federer added: “He still has a lot of time before Australia comes around, but only he knows at what level he wants to return to competition. But I thought he was actually pretty good. I didn’t expect him to be this good yet.”
The Brisbane International will take place 31 December 2017 – 7 January 2018, and Federer will partner Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup (30 December – 6 January).
Main Image: Photo by Craig Doyle/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock
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