Roger Federer saw off Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in his first appearance at Roland Garros since losing at the quarter-final stage in 2015
“I feel that the public missed me and I missed them,” Federer said later, although his Parisian comeback was not without trepidation. “There needs to be extra preparation for the clay-court season for me – especially this year because I’m not getting any younger and I haven’t played many years on the clay now.”
He said he had to work harder this time to get into shape for a fortnight of tennis on clay. “For example, I was training more for endurance, even though it’s not always pleasant to do that. And I guess it’s a good thing for the rest of my career, as well, to train in this way and for the rest of the season.
“I also hit the balls very hard – like you have to do on clay – but this can help you afterwards in the season, on hard or grass, and it was also a change. If you’re constantly doing the same thing, it gets boring. All this was part of my decision-making process. There was also the desire, and the desire was there. I felt like doing it.”