For the tennis legend Roger Federer, the 2021 French Open is not too lucky. The Swiss player preferred to withdraw on Sunday to give himself a chance to recover.
The emerging from a tight third-round victory lasted about three and a half hours, during which Roger Federer tried to find his way to win. He had played just three matches this season before arriving in Paris for the clay-court Grand Slam, which he won in 2009 for the first time.
Commenting on his unexpected decision, Roger stressed that after two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation it’s important to be very attentive. «I listen to my body and make sure I don’t push myself too quickly on my road to recovery,» the 20-time Grand Slam champion said in a statement.
The French tennis federation has released Federer’s statement, in which the almost 40-year-old star said he is thrilled to have gotten three matches under his belt this year. «There is no greater feeling than being back on court,” he added.
Roger Federer shares his plans
The Swiss tennis star turns 40 on Aug. 8, he was competing in his first major tournament since the 2020 Australian Open. Shortly after that event, he had the first of a pair of successful operations on his right knee. Despite this, Federer edged 59th-ranked Dominik Koepfer 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5 in the third round.
In fact, their match began Saturday night and ended as 1 a.m. approached Sunday. According to the official draws, on Monday, Roger Federer was scheduled to play against #9 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy. Thus, the winner of the 4th round will face either #1 Novak Djokovic or unseeded Lorenzo Musetti in the quarterfinals.
For French Open director, Guy Forget, Roger’s move was undreamt-of. The organizer said that the Roland Garros event is sorry about the withdrawal of Federer, who put up an incredible fight last night.
«We were all delighted to see Roger back in Paris, where he played three high-level matches. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season,” Forget added, according to the BBC Sport.