Injured Federer's 9th title hunt at Wimbledon under a cloud
He is likely to withdraw from Monday’s Fourth Round match in French Open against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.
Tennis legend Roger Federer shocked millions of his fans across the world on Saturday evening, when he announced that he might withdraw from the ongoing French Open tournament at Roland Garros in Paris.
The 39-year-old made the statement after he felt pain in his knee during his tight victory over German Dominik Koepfer.
Federer played his first-ever night match at Roland Garros, which triggered outrage from his fans, in front of an empty stadium on Philippe Chatrier stadium.
The star appeared uncomfortable at times, as he battled past Koepfer 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, which the commentator described as a 'Houdini' act.
But the 20-time Grand Slam champ announced after the match that he might not be able to back it up in the Fourth Round.
"I don't know if I am going to play," said Federer, who is just two months shy of his 40th birthday and is due to play Italy's Matteo Berrettini in Monday's Fourth Round.
"I have to decide whether or not to continue playing. Is it too risky to keep putting pressure on the knee? Is it a good time to rest?" he wondered aloud.
Wimbledon charge uncertain?
The 20-time Grand Slam title winner, who underwent two knee surgeries in 2020, and is playing only his third tournament since last year's Australian Open, has always said Wimbledon is his priority this year.
He is chasing a ninth title at Wimbledon, which starts on June 28.
He is also scheduled to play the warm-up grass-court tournament in Halle beginning on June 14, the day after the French Open ends.
"Every match I have to reassess the situation and see the next morning in what state I wake up and how my knee is doing," added Federer after being on the court for three hours and 35 minutes.
"It may be even more true after a match as long as the one tonight."
Federer, in a recent interview with Jim Courier and Steve Weissman, admitted to the fact that he is viewing the French Open as more of a preparation for the upcoming grass season at Wimbledon.
He seemed surprisingly pleased by how confidently he’s progressed so far at the clay slam in Roland Garros.
However, Federer still considered his chances of winning a second French Open rather low.
He didn't think he would make it past a Novak Djokovic semi-final round, which now looks like a distant reality.
(Written with Agency inputs)
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