The Swiss took on the three-time Grand Slam champion in an exhibition match for charity at Andy Murray Live ahead of competing at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
It was Murray’s first public appearance on a tennis court after limping out of Wimbledon in a quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey and, although Federer came out on top, there were plenty of positive signs that he was well along the road to recovery as he prepares for a comeback in 2018.
After travelling down from Glasgow to the O2, and having won his opening clash against Jack Sock, 36-year-old Federer opened up on his meeting with Murray and insisted he had pleasantly shocked him.
‘Well, first, it was a great feeling to be on a court again with him. I’ve missed him,’ he said.
‘Like I said at the press conference there, it was a great experience in Glasgow to do something good for other people, other charities with a legend of the game. I love teaming up. I think we could do more of it.
‘It’s just always tough to have those exhibitions organized, 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.
‘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.
‘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.’
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