“Important to Listen to My Body”: Roger Federer Announces Upsetting News at French Open 2021

Published 06/06/2021, 10:46 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer during his second round match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


Coming into Roland-Garros this year, Roger Federer didn’t see himself going into the second week of the tournament. However, having reached the round-of-16 with a closely-fought win over Dominik Koepfer of Germany, the champion was now faced with a hard choice.

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Speaking to reporters after coming through against the German in four sets, three of which were decided in tiebreakers, Federer said he could be considering withdrawing from the tournament to rest his knees ahead of Wimbledon.

Roger Federer says he pulled out on the advice of his team

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The worst fears came true on Sunday evening as Federer released a statement saying he had withdrawn from the men’s draw on the advice of his team.

“After discussions with my team, I have decided that I need to pull out of Roland-Garros 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,” the champion wrote.

The knife-edged battle, which spanned more than three hours, tested not only his resolve and also his knees which have taken a beating for the better part of 22 years as well as two surgeries, the latest of which happened last year.

Some reports suggested that Federer felt pain in his knee during the third-round tie, which was his first at a spectator-less Philippe-Chatrier this edition.

The champion said he is unsure if he will play Matteo Berrettini for a place in the quarter-finals on Monday.

“We go through these matches, we analyze them highly and look on what’s next and will do the same, because I need to decide if I keep on playing or not or is it not too much risk at this moment to keep on pushing or is this just the perfect way to just take a rest,” Federer said at the post-match press conference.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer during his second round match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Going strictly by his own assessment and what he had hoped to achieve from the Roland-Garros, one would say that the champion has more than met his objectives going into the grass-court swing.

Federer had hinted at withdrawal after his third-round win

What has left him with a difficult choice on whether to show up for the Berrettini match or pull out of the draw is that the delayed start to the French Open this year.

The tournament was pushed back by a week to enable the organizers to allow bigger crowds for matches.

Watch This Story: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Other ATP Players’ Maiden Tour Title

However, what that did is throw the men’s calendar in disarray and in Federer‘s context, leave no time for a breather between the French Open and the Noventi Open in Halle, Germany, which has been his traditional grass-court tune-up ahead of Wimbledon.

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Given the messed-up schedule, it might all boil down to whether the 39-year-old recovers well enough from the Koepfer clash and if his knees have left in them to take him deeper into the tournament.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Don’t Know If I’ll Play”: Roger Federer Considering Withdrawal After Lengthy Battle at French Open 2021

4 months ago

If he were to withdraw, it would be a sad end to a campaign that held more promise than Federer himself would have bargained for coming into the tournament.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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