French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Withdraws From French Open

The Swiss alluded to the idea in last nights press conference and today confirmed he has withdrawn from his fourth round match.

Roger Federer has confirmed that he has withdrawn from the French Open, less than 24 hours after suggesting to the press he would need to consult with his team about playing his fourth-round tie against Matteo Berrettini on Monday.

Announcing via Twitter, the Swiss posted simultaneously alongside the official Roland Garros channels with the following statement:

After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of the French Open 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. I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court. See everyone soon!Federer's statement on the withdrawal

Federer Withdraws

federer withdraw

Since Federer suggested his further participation at the tournament was in doubt, it's been the question on everyone's lips, and it appears that he does not want to push his body too far after two serious knee operations last year.

The Swiss leaves Paris after scoring impressive wins over Denis Istomin, former US Open champion Marin Cilic and Dominik Koepfer that left fans waxing lyrical about his level after over a year away from the sport.

However, it's a decision that will undoubtedly divide opinion considering he will likely be back on the court in Halle in Germany which will begin a week tomorrow.

Personally, I'm agnostic on the decision not to play. Firstly it's obviously not a decision he will have taken lightly (therefore, you have to assume he felt some pain) and given it took two surgeries plus a ton of rehab work even to be able to step on the court; it would be pretty silly of him to push the envelope.

What do you guys think of his decision to withdraw? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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97 Comments

  1. He produced a lot of good mentally tough tennis yesterday – the German opponent has a tough, solid game and gave away nothing. I was hoping he would play just for the match practice, but his team knows best so I’m not too disappointed. Yes he would have lost to an in form Berretini but he woiuld get practice returning a hard serve and feeling the range on the backhands. Playing every other day on grass will also be tough, so why not used to it?

    Probably had he not finished at 1am he might have stuck it out for Monday.

    Who can stop #31?

  2. At this point in his career, I think he can do what he wants. No one can question his love of playing this game and the contribution he has given tennis. Like he said, he has to listen to his body.\
    The haters will say he is selfish, blah, blah, blah. Hope his knee is ok.

    1. Agree, Sue. We should all listen to our body, and the more as time goes aging. I think the hard choice might be either stay and then maybe get injured and having to withdraw tennis for who knows how long? Or listen as he did, withdraw now, so that we can enjoy more matches with him in coming time.

  3. I think it was the right decision given the circumstances. He looked spent yesterday towards the end of the match. I have never seen him average 160 kmh on the first serve in a set, untill yesterday. I doubt he would have a chance against in-form Berrettini. No reason to try to push himself to the limit just to get another match under his belt.

  4. A very sensible and rational decision I think.🤔
    I just hope that there isn’t an underlying physical cause.
    It will be lovely to see him play on grass again.

    1. You should just hope there is an underlying physical cause. Or the King is a cheap clown. If it’s true, Fed had pains during the match, he should have retired during the match and let Koepfer play next round.
      BTW – playing through pain is nothing new in tennis – most of players (including Fed) does this as a part of daily business. Of course he can say, I’m sorry, I’m old. But these are not tournaments for oldies. Once you step onto the court, it means you are able to play. Maybe you are not able to win. But you are able to lose with honor and sportsmanship.
      This withdrawal is not a good message from someone like Federer.
      BTW – I don’t see, how he can win Wimbledon or even reach the final, if his knees need pause after 3 matches against second league players. Will he not need knees in Wimbledon?
      Even if it’s also not new to calculate like this, there are better ways to do it.
      I’m disgusted. This does not fit titles like “Federer playing for the love of tennis”, just because he didn’t protest against zero crowd match. The rest, including all the best (after him) did the same since early 2019.
      I’m not Federer’s hater. But I can hardly accept such behavior in a man, who is a legend of tennis in many ways. Ugly demonstration of his ego 🙁

      1. And they say that everyone accepts Federers decision without a word, whilst Osaka gets slammed blah blah blah?
        I think not. It’s a question of what people want to notice (sounds familiar in this world)

      2. The Fed is smart enough to know only a fool would cripple himself for the sake of one tournament and the possible macabre satisfaction of a few ghoulish fans who want to see him fall apart on the court. He will probably retire at the end of this season and he does not want to do that in a wheelchair.

      3. Look bro! It his decision because at the end of the it’s his life 🤷‍♂️

      4. I think there was an element of not wishing to succumb to Djokovic or Nadal, and it would look worse were he to overcome Berrettini and then pull out.
        But frankly, I don’t care, Roger’s focus is Wimbledon.

      5. If you had two knee surgeries and are 39 going 40 and you still feel the same way you feel now with your remarks, I will agree with you.

      6. I understand what you mean and also I wonder how he on earth are supposed to play Wimbledon if his knee doesnt stand 4 matches in 2 month. He should be fine by now or its like this, the knee never gets well so he will probably play so much he can stand and then rest.
        HOWEVER, its his body and he know it better then any of us and I think people sometimes forget that sportsmen play for their fans yes, BUT in the end of the day they play most for themself like all the rest of us.

      7. I agree disgusted too! Don’t enter if you can’t play until you lose or win. Federer has done this before at the O2 – beat Stan in a tough semi and then withdrew 2 hours before the final to save himself for Davis Cup the following week. No injury problem and only 33 at the time. Very poor sportsmanship.

      8. Liz, I don’t think you are well informed – or is this deliberate fake news?

      9. Sorry, this is coming out as a reply to PRF when it’s a reply to Liz.
        I am SICK SICK SICK of people putting out misinformation about Roger’s withdrawal from WTF 2014. Look at his press conference for the Australian Open 2015, where he finally admits that he was totally unable to run the day after the injury occurred. How do you expect him to play a match against Novak, of all people, if he can’t even run?

      10. *That* is why I’m half expecting it to come out in a few weeks/months that he has more of a problem than he’s let on. He has form in underplaying his injuries at the time they occur, only to admit them months later, when he thinks people may have forgotten.

      11. Poor Koepfer..if he wanted to move on he should have beat Fed!!! What difference is it if Koepfer got the walkover or Berretini? Maybe Fed wasn’t feeling so rough until after that long unrelenting match. Let’s face it, this year, besides his surgeries, is like no other. With COVID and quarantines and travel restrictions and cancelled tournaments, his opportunities to ease back into the majors hasn’t been the same as other years. As for how things will go at Wimbledon, that’s to be seen.

  5. not a good sign this year comeback with a short play at hard court and not feel good then rest and it repeat again if he cannot recover when play at halle I think after wimbledon he may long rest again to 2022

    1. Right. He has the most trophies from Wimbledon than the other top players. Grass is his favorite. Also, If he’s going to retire it should be with the dignity, pomp and circumstance that Wimbledon can offer. Not after or during a middle of the night torture match at Roland Garros with nobody there.

    2. I hope he lose in the R1 of Wimbledon just because this was so disrespectful to all other players on RG and also the tournament itself. Why disrespectful? Several reasons, first because it is obvious that he didn’t intend to play the whole tournament, we all know that because he had time to recover from Koepfer but he didn’t even use that time. Second reason, he took a place of some other player who wanted to play. Third reason, he was disrespectful to Novak because he leaves his opponent fresh with 3 days rest, compared to Novak’s one (if he go through the next round). Fourth reason, he didn’t give his supporters the pleasure of watching his next match, and not to mention his potential match with Novak. Fifth and final reason, you don’t use grand slam as a warm up for other grand slam, you just don’t, no matter who you are!

      1. That’s where you are wrong (last sentence). How do you think, for whom was the frozen Covid-ranking invented?

  6. It’s disappointing as a fan as we all want to see more but it’s obviously the right decision to me. He had a very tough battle last night and with his age and the recovery from injury it makes sense that it will take longer for his body to recover. I wouldn’t want to see him play the fourth round and potentially set his comeback back several months because he’s not ready physically. Can take a lot of positives from this week, now it’s time to rest up and get ready for Halle.

      1. Well said Ryan&Thinker.
        I guess, you both now expect Fed to play only 3 matches in Wimbledon, because anything more could mean wheelchair for the rest of life, right? Or you expect, the draw will be fixed and Fed gets 4 w/o’s underway?
        If it’s true (let’s assume, Fed never lies), he had knee pains, it means the whole rehab over so long time has failed. If rehab was successful, he should not have pains next 20 years, maybe fatigue, maybe some mental limitations, of course, but not pains.
        And how did those pains come just before Fed would have the first seeded opponent to meet?
        I thought, her would have chances against Matteo and even against Novak.

      2. ?? Doesn’t follow. “Potentially set his comeback back several months because he’s not physically ready” doesn’t imply a belief that he’ll never be ready. As Andy Murray pointed out, a basketball player returning from a long injury is eased into it, gradually building up the minutes they play over a period of several games.

      3. PRF, you’ve made a lot of conclusions based on what I said that really didn’t need to be made. No, I don’t think Fed only has it in him to play 3 matches at a slam. But I do expect that when his body tells him it will be pushing it to go further into the most physically-demanding Slam, Fed listens. And no, rehab doesn’t mean the pain goes away and never comes back. It means the strengthening and elasticity of the knee is at a sitable standard to compete in a professional athletic setting. The knee has been surgically-repaired, twice over last year, and so of course it’s going to take more time to be in full working order. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

  7. Right decision, tad sad not able to watch him playing next match but health is more important. RG should just forget about night matches…its so dead.

  8. I have such mixed feelings about this – divided opinions even within myself!

    In general I think if you win a match you play the next one. That’s the tennis format. BUT – what if you win injured? Withdrawing due to injury, while disappointing, is still reasonable. I think part of what’s going on here is that, post-surgeries, POTENTIAL injury plays a larger role than it has in the past. So not, “I’ve broken my knee and I can’t play”, but “If I keep playing I am likely to break my knee, and I want to avoid that”. That – also sounds disappointing, but reasonable. We’ve seen other players withdraw because of concerns about “aggravating” an injury.

    What seems more problematic to me here is that he’s been very clear that RG was not the goal; grass was the goal. I understand that he may not have expected to win 3 matches, but if you enter the tournament, you need to be prepared to keep playing if you keep winning. If he’s withdrawing ONLY because of the greater importance of grass TO HIM, that seems – problematic.

    BUT. There are, as ever, things we don’t know. Is he in fact in great pain but not telling us? Wouldn’t be the first time. Is he in some pain, but his team is identifying worrying almost-injury that would likely grow worse with additional play? Again, not a shock if that were true and he wasn’t telling us. Did he actually come very close to retiring mid-match against Koepfer, shocking and unprecedented as that would have been, and he’s concerned he couldn’t hold on if he should reach the same point in his next match? The next one could go 5 – though it wouldn’t be in the more difficult post-sunset conditions of the last one (although a really long 5-setter could get there at the end…) … no surprise at all he wouldn’t tell us if that were part of what’s going on.

    Not for the first time, I’m left to conclude that (obviously) he knows his body best. He clearly still wants to play. If you were one of the reduced attendance at his first two matches, would you think he should have skipped those if he wasn’t prepared to play as many matches as he qualified for?

    Hoping to see him looking fit and happy in Halle.

    1. He already said he arrived here not being 100% physically, but needed to play some matches in order to be ready for Wimbledon.
      If the organizers hadn’t put him in the night with no pace and finished at 2AM, he would have played the next round.

    2. I was going to post, but I’m not sure I really have anything to add to what Thinker has already said. My concern, based on past experience, is that he probably wouldn’t have taken this decision lightly (and let’s face it, presumably from his reply someone at the presser must have asked him the question of whether he was going to withdraw), so I’m worried that there may be some genuine problem of some sort which makes him feel he couldn’t comp(l)ete the next match if he played it. Remember when he had to withdraw from the final of WTF 2014? At the time, he merely said that he wasn’t fit to play a match against a player of Djokovic’s quality – it was only some months later that he actually admitted that his back was sufficiently bad that he had been totally incapable of running.

      1. It actually crossed my mind, after I had posted above, that another possibility is that the knee was fine, but the back did its niggling “I might be thinking about bailing out totally here”. That would be – bad. I’d want to avoid it too.

  9. A wise decision, his health comes first. And clearly Wimbledon is his priority.
    Just look forward to see his classy game in his favorite court.

  10. I think, like a lot of people here, that it’s a decision that will be met with mixed reaction. It’s obviously the “wise” decision, whatever that means. He’s played 5 matches of actual tennis in 17 months of time including intensive rehab and surgeries. Anyone who looks at that and thinks he has no good reason to be extra careful about his fitness if he felt something is, frankly, biased against Federer.

    That said, if what he felt was tiredness or a struggle to recover, rather than, lets say, pain in the previously injured knee or pain elsewhere, this was effectively a tactical withdrawal. Even with pain, it could be (anything that doesn’t mean he feels unable to actually play a best of 5 match is tactical).

    I suspect it is, in the sense that, had this been the final, he certainly wouldn’t have withdrawn. Probably not the semifinal either. Where we all draw that line will differ, but to me it does feel very much like an overt two fingers up to the french open: you were useful, I never came here to win, now you’ve served your purpose. None of this differs from Federer’s own comments leading up, so I’m surprised those who are angry are offended on behalf of respecting one of our majors now and not before.

    That said, it deprives the fans of an R16 match up, so as Jon says at the start, this can’t be a decision he took lightly, caring about the fans as we know he does. So I think the default thing to do is to trust his motivations and not complain too much.

  11. As far as i know his professionalism he will never withdraw from the tournament without the genuine reason.
    Trying to go for Wimbledon is not the genuine reason.
    😊

  12. Long time Fed fan here, but something doesn’t quite seem right about this decision. If his focus was mainly Grass, why even play the French to begin with. Playing until R3 and then not playing R4 because it gets harder from here on seems a bit unlike the high standards Federer has always demonstrated.

    1. Yes I agree with this and the one by John above. From a selfish point of view, yes I am glad he’s protected himself for the grass season (what a relief to watch!). But if you enter a tournament it seems not quite right to take a pre-emptive withdrawal, unless he really is injured, which I hope is not the case. It seems unfair to the other player who could have moved on.
      Oh well – making it a bit harder for Djokovic I guess on Wednesday 🙂 But I am hoping for Djokovic now, for obvious reasons.

      I just hope he isn’t putting so much into Wimbledon and then sets him up for a big disappointment.

    2. Because it was the only opportunity to get some BO5 matches in a Slam situation and see how his knee reacted?
      I don’t know, but the phrasing that the organisers “have learned” makes it sound as though they are somewhat pissed off – almost as if he’d announced it on social media without having the courtesy to let them know first, which doesn’t appear to have been the case from what Jon says (and I should certainly hope it wasn’t!)

  13. Some interesting perspectives here on the sportsmanship and gamesmanship involved with entering one tournament for the purpose of match practice in preparation for future tournaments (either tournaments that are more desirable for some reason, or because more time is required in order to play at a certain level).

    My perspective is that Roger was clear from the start about his fitness and his goals at RG. He played a solid match last night and then exited the tournament gracefully.

    1. Exactly, why not exit after making your intentions clear? He has used RG to get some match practice in, what is wrong with that when he has won so much. Why should he leave a space for someone else, has anyone ever done that for him or actually done that ever? Want to be in his spot, then beat your opponents to get to him then beat him, easy, right!

  14. Huge disappointment. If he didn’t want to give his best he should have left his place to someone else who wanted to. This is Benoit Paire like.

    1. Why do you only usually wake up on here to say something diggy about Fed or get excited about Nadal😅

      Well actually I guess that’s your right

  15. He cannot skip Halle (unless he breaks a leg or so) – isn’t it a lifetime duty he has to show up there? So – better skip the slam (which otherwise might be no. one in weight). As Jonathan reminds us – ” it’s obviously not a decision he will have taken lightly (therefore, you have to assume he felt some pain) and given it took two surgeries plus a ton of rehab work even to be able to step on the court; it would be pretty silly of him to push the envelope.”

  16. What’s the difference between protecting your ‘mental health’ and protecting your knees? Asking for a friend 😃

  17. I’m ok with it even tho I think if fully recovered, he had a shot at Matteo.. but he’s not just thinking grass, he’s thinking whole season ahead, and a sudden injury, loss of continuity wld be catastrophic so knowing he’s not going to win RG, he made the best decision for him, given that RG have arbitrarily taken away a week from his careful planning…… which ppl are forgetting. RG caused this inadvertently.

    1. Good point Susie, we’ve only known since… March? April? – that RG was going to be a week later than usual.

    2. This is a very good point, Susie. RG moved the tournament which gave one week less for grass prep. To put Fed on a night match and he plays into the next day is another blunder of RG. How is he supposed to have the time to recover? Perhaps Fed’s remarks are a sly jab at RG. His knee is probably sore. If it was great, he’d be in the next match. Fed is being brutally honest here. It would be so much easier to go on and on at how much he loves RG and can’t wait to play it. And when he pulls out, he goes on and on about how bad his knee became over night. Then he says how devastated he is to leave. But he chose to tell the truth and he will get the criticism.

      1. Thanks Sue. There’s a lot of speculation, but yours seems clever to me. I was grateful to watch him competent in RG, and relieved that he withdrew after this dreadful condition for 3rd. match creating possible problems for rehab. So we all have a chance to watch more of his tennis further on. Thank you, Roger

  18. If I’m not mistaken this is the first time he’s withdrawn from a Slam. But after nearly a year and a half out with so little match play, better be safe than sorry. Pushing himself too far too fast is a recipe for re-injury. Surely he knows his body best.

    I am worried about an early upset in Halle (fast grass + Bo3 = danger) leaving him under-tennised for Wimbledon, but that’s just a chance he’ll have to take, I guess. He definitely has gotten a fair amount of match play at RG, eleven sets of clay-court tennis. He showed he could grind out a win against Koepfer.

    Just hope he can rest up enough in the next week to be ready for the grass season. C’mon Roger!

  19. The selfish part of me wishes that he had played.

    That being said, the draw was disgracefully difficult. How can you possibly go through all these 3 “tricky” opponents only to still have to go through Berretini, Djokovic, Nadal and Zverev/Tsitsipas/Medvedev.

    It was beyond Olympian of an effort and got what?!

    So, sure it sucks but I suppose health comes first and then Halle and Wimbledon.

    Let’s see how well he does in Halle before we jump to conclusions.

    Plus, I would love to see what seed will he placed at Wimbledon if they take a look at his winning record on grass. Maybe he wins Halle and jumps to Seed 4 or something so he could have an easier draw.

    Remember that the draw is important.

    1. There is no Wimbledon seeding system this year onwards. Wimbledon will use the regular ATP ranking to decided the seeds. So draw matters definitely but Fed will have to go through Djokovic/Nadal/Next Gen just as was in RG.

      1. So, realistically he may not be able to assault the top unless his ranking goes up…

  20. Everything would be fine and easy to understand and accept. But to take one grand slam just as preparation for another slam does not look well. And (given The French was moved by a week) the better option was to skip Paris and go for full grass season, starting in Stuttgart. Would it not be a better preparation for Wimbledon?
    If this was to say Paris Adieux, there was a simple way to do it with more sportsmanship. Withdraw before 4.th set and let Koepfer play next round. Or just do like Tom Gorman (I didn’t know the story but someone here has posted the link) – this would would make everyone happy).
    But probably Federer wanted to leave Paris unbeaten. Not a good idea for his image and he should care about it, being just who he is and many say this every day – a role model.
    Now many will think and talk – Federer didn’t play for the love of tennis but for the love of himself. Which I think, is just right. Ego over Sportsmanship.
    And I think, Paris will not miss him quickly. Now must take care that the London Farewell comes better out. Tokyo is probably something to forget. If it goes, it goes either without fans or with great protests of people there. Not a good atmosphere for Olympics. So it’s Halle – London & Farewell Tennis.

    1. If we’re on a theoretical flow, how about him changing his mind about winning when Koepfer spat in the ball mark😄

      1. I don’t sit in his mind. He is not a hysteric old squaw to decide like this. The bad behavior of the opponent is never a reason for decisions, having more solid reasons. And he was not the one to punish the opponent (assuming he is a goat and gentleman – isn’t he?).
        And the match didn’t look like an affair, in which Federer could freely decide about winning.
        TBC – I don’t like Koepfer in any aspect. I like to see Federer winning and behaving like gentleman. This time he didn’t.
        His eventual “decision” about retiring (because he didn’t get to know about knee pains just after the) must have been ready earlier, even maybe before the match. Even better (for Fed) would be to retire for medical reasons once he started to feel pains.
        But maybe you are right and as a result of ageing Fed turned a hysteric old squaw?
        You just got another reply from someone who could belong to the HOS circle 😉

      2. Yes Muser, cheers😄
        Jokes seemed to be read in the right way less and less online these days🤪

  21. When is the Halle draw out? I guess they’ll have to be releasing it while the FO is still running. It looks like a decent tournament with Rublev, Zverev, Medvedev.
    Good to know we can watch Fed again only next week, but is there really no spectators or has that changed now?

  22. Mussetti a set up on Djoker, Muser’s prediction looking good so far. I didn’t expect him to get this many games, never mind a set. Djoker playing pretty terrible though, Djokosmash in the house.

  23. It’s pretty funny when I see people saying, “He should have retired in Koepfer match and give him a chance to play next round”…. I mean, COME ON. Are you serious!? That’s what every sport is all about, winning. Roger won that match which gave him every single right to do whatever he wants with next match. He decided to withdraw, probably the best decision he made in a while. Why? Because Halle is just around the corner, he hasn’t played for 18 months and now you expect him to play so many matches in 4+ sets with 3+ hours and then switch to grass in just couple days? Just be happy that he is still playing, passionate about winning, fighting every single match, and then someone comes and says he should have let Koepfer win….
    I will end with quote from Daniil Medvedev:
    “If Koepfer wants to be in the next round, sorry, he needed to beat Roger,” said Medevedev.

    1. Agree. How would you feel winning if you knew that your opponent didn’t give it all? Not like a genuine win, really? Sports would be ruined by such, – well even worse with the somewhat heard of fixed losing for money, but this would be somehow related. And the angry critics of RF’s behavior this time have forgotten that players are not our play-tools, not even the slam-mangers’ instruments of money-making, although some might think so. They are humans with an incredible challenging choice af call. They should have the choice themselves of what to play and when and how long. Their bodies are their possesion, not anybody else’.

  24. Really good comments by everyone. It seems bad form for Fed to withdraw in the middle of the tournament without a more explicit reason. But as others have said, there may be more than we know at this point related to injuries. At the end of the day, this may be an inflection point where it becomes clear he can no longer compete at this level for an extended period of time as required in a major. If that is so, he will not be able to maintain his ranking which will accelerate his decline. He will still have moments of brilliance but they will be episodic.

    1. Stuart Belt – In a comeback as well as still ongoing rehab a little smaller steps than “normal” are demanded, and later improvement of fitness is likely on the way. So it seems quite illogical to me to speculate – if he cannot do this NOW, he won’t be able later, or opposite – if he can do this and that now, he should be able to do same tomorrow. There’s more to it than this.

  25. Someone has just posted this link on MTF: https://www.lequipe.fr/Tennis/Article/Guy-forget-revient-sur-le-forfait-de-roger-federer-a-roland-garros-lui-faire-un-proces-de-manque-de-respect-ou-de-calcul-c-est-injuste/1260100
    It says that he’s gone through all the withdrawal procedures and signed a document giving the reason as his knee. Guy Forget says he wasn’t fit to play his next match.

    Earlier today, when I didn’t have internet access, I was musing over the situation and thinking that it would be inconsistent with previous behaviour for Federer to withdraw from a match *without* being injured, just because he thought he’d done enough. What *would* be consistent, though, would be him understating the severity of any injury in public pronouncements. So, while it’s not inconceivable that he’s been selfish/ruthless/whatever enough simply to dump the French Open because it suits his purposes, it must surely be at least equally conceivable that there is some level of injury. That may become clearer when we see if he actually plays Halle next week.

  26. There is way too much (trash) talk about the whole walkover thing.
    Fed decided to avoid any further risk. Smart, honest and logical move.
    Clay is heavy for the knees and still he wanted to get match-fit and Grand Slam BestOf5 fit. He said it from the very beginning that he does not expect to go deep in that tournament and that it is not his priority.
    Grass is his priority. Everybody knows, so I refuse any hypocritical wining about sportsmanship bla bla bla….
    This is the constant PC media attitude and of no relevance.
    Fed has given so much to the entire Tennis World and still does and always will just because of his grace and achievements.
    He does not owe anything to anybody.
    His priority is health, family and tennis. And he tries to maintain that triangle as long as he can. That’s it…

    1. He should have lied. Roger could say after the match, “I feel great after playing into the night. My knee is great, my body is good.” Then the next morning, he sends out a press release. ” I woke up with this incredible knee pain, no. I spoke with my team and my doctors and they said I should end my run at RG. I want to thank RG for moving the tournament closer to the grass season and for their amazing scheduling! I hope to see you at Halle but see how I am in a few days.”

    2. Clay is not heavy for knees. It depends on the game style. Many are sliding on every surface and this is just wrong on hard courts. You can and must slide on clay and on grass. Grass is slippery and this is the threat of any injury. Not so much for Fed because of his unique footwork (almost no sliding).
      If I recall well, Fed was talking before RG, he just wants to get some match practice on clay, because it is better for knees.
      Clay is more demanding in terms of endurance, because rallies are longer and you need to run more and ,matches are generally longer.
      Maybe not this year, because clay in Paris looks to be harder and faster than ever (ask Medvedev). Only Nadal still plays classic clay game. Almost everyone else plays his “universal” game.
      I see Fed’s priorities a bit different: Ego – Health – Tennis – Family (so long he is on tour).

      1. @Jon
        Who do you mean with “good grass court players”? Fed – OK. All others slide on grass, because it’s possible and they do the same on hard courts (Not Fed). You could think, sliding on ´hard courts is actually impossible. But most players slide. Which is of course dangerous, causes ankle rolls, blisters on feet and the overload goes into knees.
        Look soccer players. They play on grass and sliding is important part of the game. Would you say “good soccer players don’t slide on grass”?
        In tennis it all depends on footwork and nobody has footwork close to Fed’s.

      2. I referred to Pierre Pagannini:
        “The advantage when you play on clay for the joints is there is less shock because there is the slide, and the disadvantage on hard courts is there is that shock,” he said. “But the advantage on hard courts is that the shock is brief. It’s bang and the foot leaves the ground and a player who is as coordinated and a dancer like Federer, he crushes his joints a bit less at that bad moment.
        “In contrast, the disadvantage with the slide on clay is that in the joints there is a lot of vibration. We don’t see it from the outside, but to control this slide there is instability in the knee, the foot, the ankle. And that in some cases can be bad for the knee or joint in question.”

        For further details:
        https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/sports/tennis/roger-federer-rankings.html?smid=tw-share

      3. @DrEvil
        OK, we don’t need better expert, esp. for Fed-related things.
        But given specific footwork, Federer does not slide much even on clay.
        And if the team decided to send Fed to Paris, the calculation must have been, it makes him better for grass preparation than say to skip Paris and go for Stuttgart instead.
        This could sound logical for non-expert fans, but we can be generally right, but our right thinking must not apply to Federer, here and now 🙂

      4. On clay, players slide into shots as you can transfer your weight to recover quicker. You won’t see that on grass though as you can’t really control the slide, the surface and the pimpled shoes don’t really allow for it.

        Watch Stuttgart today, you won’t see a lot of sliding. You will sometimes see them slide after hitting the ball, maybe force of habit? But very rarely into the shot.

        It’s not efficient for grass. Perhaps on or into a volley, or later into the week when the baseline has no grass, but you won’t see much of it.

  27. Btw he told Guy Forget he is going to play Paris-Bercy this year as Basel unfortunately has been cancelled due to Covid (sad but true).
    Guy Forget is fine with all of that and that means something when thinking about his ongoing criticism of Fed avoiding Rolland Garros and Paris-Bercy in the past…

  28. Thanks, I was not sure but tended to trust youtube…The outfit reminded me of 2019. Thanks for clarifying this and adding the real first hitting 😉

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