“Sorry for His Many Fans”: Tournament Director Responds to Roger Federer’s French Open 2021 Withdrawal

Published 06/07/2021, 11:22 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer leaves the court after winning his second round match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open 2021 before his fourth-round match against Matteo Berrettini. The decision was taken to not overly exert his body ahead of the upcoming grass-court season.

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Some have criticized his decision, and some, like the Roland Garros tournament director Guy Forget, completely understand the decision.

Roger Federer arrives on the court for his second-round match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

In a recent interview, Forget echoed that Federer shouldn’t be criticized as he had played very few matches in the last 16 months. Forget further called it a blessing to just see Federer playing at Roland Garros this year.

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“He hasn’t played a lot of games over the past 16 months. He had a very short preparation on this area, and despite everything he came. Obviously, he was not yet prepared for a series of games at this level. He was pretty happy with his journey but sorry for his many fans here.

“He is sorry to leave the tournament, but we can’t blame him. You have to take advantage of it every time you see it on a court, it won’t last for years, ”

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

Roger Federer during his third-round match against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Federer’s decision partly came into being because of his long third-round match against Dominik Koepfer. The match was a four-setter but went well beyond the three-hour mark. Hence Federer isn’t taking a risk against a much better opponent in Matteo Berrettini in the fourth round. As he said, his season begins from Wimbledon Championships 2021.

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Guy Forget on problems faced by Roger Federer at French Open 2021

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Forget also said that behind the scenes, Federer had discomforts and pains while playing in Paris. After a chat with Federer, the tournament director realized that Federer himself is sad about his decision.

“He was telling me earlier that it is when he gets up in the morning that he sees how he feels. He has small discomforts, inflammatory pains. Soon to be forty years old and with so little preparation, he has when even made three games. You know, we would have liked to have French players in the eighth, he was still there.”

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Federer has looked solid on the clay courts of Paris. And the encouraging signs on clay are enough to hope for an even better grass-court season. Let’s see how the Swiss master does at his beloved Wimbledon.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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