“Would Have Surely Lost with Honors”: French Open Boss Defends Roger Federer Over Pullout

Published 06/13/2021, 1:52 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates winning his second round match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


French Open boss and former tennis star Guy Forget has opened up on the withdrawal of Roger Federer from the tournament.

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Coming into the Roland-Garros on the back of just one win from three Tour matches this year, the current World No.8 got himself into the tournament’s second week with three clinical wins.

Roger Federer withdrew from French Open after tough third-round win

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Just when Roger seemed to be raising visions of going deeper into the tournament, Federer withdrew from the men’s draw, citing the need to rest his knees ahead of Wimbledon.

After grinding out a tough third-round win over German Dominik Koepfer, the 39-year-old Swiss had hinted at a pullout saying his future participation in the tournament would depend on how he recovered from the Koepfer game.

He later released a statement saying he had withdrawn from the draw on the advice of his team. His pullout resulted in his fourth-round opponent, Matteo Berrettini, getting a walkover into the quarter-final.

Speaking on the withdrawal of the former World No.1 for the first time, Forget said tennis stars, like boxers, don’t share any prior information with organizers on whether they would last the entire tournament.

He said that with Federer, the organizers weren’t optimistic he would play the entire tournament and knew they were venturing into the unknown.

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

“The players do not share information before the tournament, like the boxers. We knew that Federer had little confidence. We knew that we’re going into the unknown. And he did not tell us,” the former French tennis star said.

Would have done the same as Federer: Guy Forget

He added that Federer’s only outing on clay this year in Geneva had ended in defeat and coming into the French Open, he had nothing but a few practice sessions to go on.

However, he said that despite coming to the tournament undercooked, the Swiss was at his elegant best in his opening two rounds but seemed to labor through his third against Koepfer.

Forget said though he didn’t say as much, Federer must have felt his knees while grinding out a tough win against the German.

“He didn’t say but he must have felt his knee significantly,” the Frenchman said.

He added that Federer would surely have lost against Berrettini and worse, risked damage to his knee.

Forget said he would have probably done the same had he been in the champion’s shoes. 

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“He would surely have lost with honors against Berrettini with the risk of worsening his knee for a month or two. In his place, I might have done the same thing, even if we’re disappointed for our spectators who had a ticket,” the former tennis star said.

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The Swiss has already identified Wimbledon as his priority event this year and had arrived at Roland-Garros with zero expectations out of himself.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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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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