It’s a sad piece of news, but not unexpected. Roger Federer withdraws from the French Open 2021. He will focus on Wimbledon and the grass-court season.
It was hanging in the air and now it’s confirmed. Roger Federer withdraws from the French Open. He does so after reaching the fourth round, defeating Denis Istomin, Marin Cilic, and Dominik Koepfer on the way. The first match was relatively pain-free, but four sets against Cilic and four LONG sets against Koepfer have obviously taken a toll on Federer’s body. After all, he’s turning 40 in August and his main goal in playing the French Open was to get some match play under his belt for the grass-court season.
Federer fans will be sad about it, but it makes sense to save the body from more damage since he didn’t see himself winning the French Open anyway. He was, in fact, surprised how well he had played in the first couple of rounds. But if you saw the match against Koepfer, you are probably not surprised that he’s a bit sore today. It was a grueling encounter with three tie-breaks and a fourth set ending 7-5. Even if he had played the next round against Berrettini, it would be hard to see him pose a real threat to the in-form Italian.
“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,” said Federer.
How bad is Federer’s body?
Is there a serious injury concern behind Federer’s withdrawal? Let’s hope not. But it was clear already in the press conference after his match against Koepfer that his body was aching and he did “warn” that it was likely that he might have to withdraw. Maybe it’s just another sign of clever scheduling from Roger and his team and not taking any chances of missing Wimbledon.
Next up is Halle, which will start on the 14th of June (a bit more than a week). I think we will see a fresher Federer there, but whether he has enough in his legs to make a serious run for another Wimbledon trophy remains to be seen.
What do you think of Roger’s decision to withdraw?