In a development that surprised Roger Federer’s fans, the former World number pulled out of the French Open a day after winning his third-round match. He cited knee previous injuries, recovery and rehabilitation in a tweet announcing his decision.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner is targeting a record 21st at Wimbledon later this month.
Roger Federer has had a few setbacks in the past and he quit the game when he was ahead. He won over German Dominik Koepfer with his next round set against Italian Matteo Berrettini.
Why did Roger Federer quit?
The soon-to-be-40 Grand Slam champion withdrew from the French Open saying he needed to “listen to his body and make sure he didn’t push himself too quickly on his road to recovery”.
“After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of the French Open today. After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation it’s important that I listen to my body and make sure I don’t push myself too quickly on my road to recovery. I am thrilled to have gotten 3 matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court. See everyone soon,” his tweet read.
What are the injuries that did not allow him to play?
Federer has had two knee operations and nearly a year of rehab in the past. He has not played in the last 17 months. He finally made his entry after over a year with the French Open.
Never a quitter
Federer has played 1513 professional matches since 1998 and never retired from any of them. In fact, in January 2020, he played a game with Novak Djokovic and could have called it quits due to a groin injury yet, he played till the end. Djokovic said later he had immense respect for Federer to put up with the pain and suffering to finish the game.
Federer’s preference: Clay or Grass court?
Federer prefers the grass-court over a clay court. The French Open is competed on the clay court and it is the second time in six years he has played on a clay court. It is an advantage Federer when it comes to Wimbledon for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) prefers grass over clay.
The grass courts produce little friction with the ball resulting in shots that shoot off the turf with high speed and low bounce. Players generally have less time to return the ball and Federer’s ability to use the speed of the ball makes him the favorite when it comes to grass.
What's next for Federer?
Federer had participated in the French Open to test the courts and understand how physically fit he is. His next competition is the ATP event in Halle, which is his first grass-court tournament ahead of Wimbledon.