Hopman Cup: Federer cruises to victory on return from injury

Former world number one Federer, the winner of 17 grand slam singles crowns, was troubled by injuries throughout 2016, with a knee problem keeping him on the sidelines following his Wimbledon semi-final loss to Milos Raonic in July.

Federer eased past Dan Evans 6-3, 6-4.   -  AP

Roger Federer enjoyed a comfortable victory on his return from six months out, beating Dan Evans 6-3, 6-4 at the Hopman Cup on Monday.

Former world number one Federer, the winner of 17 grand slam singles crowns, was troubled by injuries throughout 2016, with a knee problem keeping him on the sidelines following his Wimbledon semi-final loss to Milos Raonic in July.

However, ahead of his comeback, the Swiss spoke enthusiastically of his desire to play on for "another two to three years".





And Federer looked in good shape against world number 66 Evans, the 35-year-old's forehand typically potent as he eased to a straight-sets win in just over an hour.

In an on-court interview following his triumph, Federer was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: "It's special to be back.

"Did I think about retiring? I got hurt filling up a bath for my children. It was not the way I wanted to leave the game. After Wimbledon ... I had to take some time out. I had a great time, [but] eventually you miss tennis and you can't be happier playing again and getting that kind of a welcome," said the former World no. one.

The Hopman Cup is a mixed team event in which players represent their countries. Federer followed up his singles match by teaming up with Belinda Bencic to thrash Evans and Heather Watson 4-0 4-1 in a short-form doubles contest.

AFP adds:

Earlier, cagey veteran Richard Gasquet led France to a 2-1 win over Germany.

Gasquet beat rising star Alexander Zverev 7-5, 6-3 in their men's singles match and then teamed with Kristina Mladenovic to win the deciding mixed doubles rubber.

Germany had earlier taken the lead when Andrea Petkovic benefited from an early arrival in Australia and an unorthodox preparation to put in a quality performance against Mladenovic, winning 6-2, 6-1.

"I normally spend Christmas with the family but I decided it was time to make a sacrifice," said Petkovic.

"I spent Christmas in Melbourne watching Seinfeld and eating burgers, but it has paid off."