Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open to safeguard his knee after two operations last year.
“After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of Roland Garros today,” the 39-year-old said in a statement on Sunday. “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.”
In the last lengthy match that ended at 12:45 a.m. local time, and third-round victory over Dominik Koepfer, the 20-time grand slam champion hinted at his withdrawal.
In 2020, Federer underwent two knee surgeries and aimed for a ninth Wimbledon title on his preferred grass court surface later this month.
“The Roland Garros tournament is sorry about the withdrawal of Roger Federer, who put up an incredible fight last night,” French Open tournament director Guy Forget said. “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.”
“I don’t know if I am going to play,” said the 20-time grand slam champion following his victory over Koepfer at 12:45 a.m. local time.
“I have to decide whether or not to continue. Is it too risky to keep putting pressure on the knee? Is it a good time to rest? Every match, I have to reassess the situation and see the next morning in what state I wake up and how my knee is doing. It may be even more true after a match as long as the one tonight.”
“All the matches I’ve played since the injury are information for the rest of the season,” added Federer.
“It gives me real pleasure to be able to play three hours and 30 minutes at a high level against a very good player. It shows that I’m on the right track.”
Federer shakes hands with Germany’s Koepfer following their early Sunday morning victory.