(CNN) – Roger Federer has retired from the French Open to protect his knee after two surgeries in 2020.
“After talking to my team, I decided that I have to withdraw from Roland Garros today,” said the 39-year-old in a statement on Sunday.
“After two knee operations and over a year of rehabilitation, it is important that I listen to my body and not push myself too fast on the path to recovery.”
After his victory in the third round against Dominik Koepfer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion had indicated his retreat until the early hours of Sunday morning after ending at 12:45 p.m. local time.
Federer underwent two knee operations in 2020 and is aiming for a ninth Wimbledon title later this month on his favorite turf.
“I’m thrilled to have three games under my belt,” added Federer. “There is no better feeling than being back on the pitch.”
French Open Tournament Director Guy Forget said: “The Roland Garros tournament regrets the withdrawal of Roger Federer who put up an incredible fight last night.
“We were all very happy to see Roger back in Paris, where he played three games at a high level. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season. “
Federer, who will be 40 years old on August 8, defeated Koepfer 7: 6 (7-5) 6: 7 (3-7) 7: 6 (7-4) 7: 5 and should against Matteo on Monday Berrettini will play a place in the quarterfinals.
“I don’t know if I’ll play,” said the 20-time Grand Slam winner after his win against Köpfer, which ended at 12.45 p.m. local time.
“I have to decide whether to continue or not. Is it too risky to keep putting pressure on the knee? Is It A Good Time To Rest?
“In every game I have to reassess the situation and see what state I wake up in and how my knee is doing the next morning.
“After a match as long as this evening, it can be even truer.”
‘You have to love it’
A night curfew due to COVID-19 restrictions ensured that the Court Philippe Chatrier in Roland Garros with 15,000 seats for Federer’s game was without fans.
“I might have been more nervous if the stadium had been full,” added Federer, who made his French Open debut in 1999 and won a Grand Slam tournament in 2009 dominated by rival Rafa Nadal.
“All the games I’ve played since the injury are information for the rest of the season,” added Federer.
“It gives me great pleasure to be able to play three hours and 30 minutes at a high level against a very good player. That shows that I’m on the right track. “
Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray, who had many injury problems, said it was inspiring to see Federer play and testifies to the Swiss man’s love for tennis.
“To see Federer play in an empty stadium at 12.30 after two knee operations at the age of 39 is inspiring for me. Do what you love, ”Murray tweeted.
Federer replied, “Thank you Sir Andy, the feeling is mutual. You gotta love it See you in the grass. “
The CNN Wire
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