Coming to Roland Garros to ramp up in view of Wimbledon, his big goal of the season, Roger Federer preferred to withdraw from the tournament before the knockout stages. A not-so-surprising decision.
Three wins and then goes. A few hours after qualifying for the round of 16 at Roland Garros, after a long night standoff with the German Dominik Koepfer, in the anonymity of a closed session, Roger Federer decided to throw in the towel. His withdrawal from the tournament was announced on Sunday. “After talking to my team, I decided that I had to retire. After two knee operations (right in 2020) and more than a year of rehabilitation, it is important that I listen to my body and that I do not ‘go not too quickly in the return to competition, “explained the Swiss on his social networks.
It’s no secret that the major goal of his season remains Wimbledon, where he dreams of winning a 9th coronation and a 21st Grand Slam title. Roland-Garros was above all for him a good way to gain strength before attacking the season on grass. And at almost forty, he does not intend to take any risks with his physique, especially not after having returned to competition in March.
Arguments that can be heard. “He was very clear, he came to Roland Garros to prepare for Wimbledon. You also have to understand that all the matches leave traces at his age. He knows himself so well, he had to assess that there were more risks to make an additional match than to recover for Wimbledon. It is prudence. We always have the impression that it is easy for him but he drew on his reserves, he is at the limit “, notes Sarah Pitkowski, former player now consultant for RMC Sport.
Same analysis on the side of Florent Serra, ex-36th in the world at ATP: “He has just played a match of more than three hours and it had been an eternity since it had happened to him. He does not want to take the risk of hurt himself and miss Wimbledon. It’s not in his body to know how he recovered. But maybe he could have waited to see how things were going to go on Monday against Matteo Berrettini. ” This is what some of his supporters would have liked.
Forget doesn’t blame him
For David, who came to see Stéfanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev this Sunday, there was first “surprise” at the announcement of “King Federer’s” package. Then a hint of disappointment. “He looked rather in good shape. It’s annoying for those who had taken places to come and see him,” he regrets. “I find it really unfortunate for the tournament, its opponents and the public. From the moment you enter, you have to go to the end, but it surely has its reasons”, clutches Stéphanie.
Others are harder on the idol. “I find that disrespectful vis-à-vis his opponents. It’s strange to treat Roland-Garros as a preparation tournament. It’s surprising, I find that it is not fair play,” insists Mathieu. So, was Roland Garros considered a trivial training session by Federer? Is this a blow to the prestige of the tournament? A lack of respect ? This is not at all the feeling of Guy Forget.
The director of Roland-Garros ensures that there is no reason to criticize the attitude of the Swiss, who was playing his 19th Roland-Garros (winner in 2009). Maybe the last. “He has played few games over the last sixteen months. He had a very short preparation on this surface, and despite everything he came. He was not yet ready to chain games at this level, supports Forget at the microphone from RMC. He told me earlier that it is when he gets up in the morning that he sees how he feels. He has small discomforts, inflammatory pains. He has nevertheless played three games. We would have liked Having French players in the eighth, he was still there. I saw him this morning, he was quite happy with his course but sorry for the fans. He is sorry to leave the tournament, but we can not blame him. ” Besides Wimbledon, Federer’s other big goal will be in Tokyo this summer. Only Olympic gold in singles is missing from his huge record.