ROGER FEDERER has withdrawn from the French Open.
The Swiss prevailed in a 3hr 39m marathon against Dominik Koepfer under the lights at Roland Garros last night.
Following his 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 victory over the German, the 39-year-old had been due to face Italian Matteo Berrettini in R4.
But Federer has pulled out of the tournament, citing a right knee injury.
In an official statement, he said: “After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will 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.
“I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court.”
Berrettini, 25, now advances to the quarter-finals – where he could face Novak Djokovic – with the Serb taking on teenager Lorenzo Musetti in R4 tomorrow.
Roland Garros was only Federer’s third tournament since last year’s Australian Open, having undergone a knee operation during the early stages of the pandemic.
He defeated Brit Dan Evans back in March in Qatar, before losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarter-finals of the ATP 250 event.
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Federer next appeared in Geneva last month, although suffered an early 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 defeat to Spanish world No68 Pablo Andujar in his first match.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner, therefore, came into the French with few expectations, but can be encouraged by his displays in Paris.
He comfortably defeated fellow veteran Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in R1, before facing Marin Cilic in R2.
Federer has met the Croatian in two Grand Slam finals, but Cilic is no longer the force that he was in previous seasons.
The 2009 French Open champion defeated his old foe in four sets, before facing Koepfer on Saturday night.
In front of no fans, due to a curfew in the French capital, Federer showed grit and determination in turning the match back in his favour – after things had looked ropy at one-set all.
After pulling out, his attention now turns to the grass.
Federer is next to due to appear in Halle the week after next, a tournament that he has won ten times.
Another week off will follow, before he returns to SW19 for Wimbledon.
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