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Why Federer walked off another crucial match
Jun 9, 2021, 3:25:00 AM

Why Federer walked off another crucial match

Roger Federer just pulled out of the French Open, and it was a tough ending for the Swiss star as he had to back down from the tourney’s big games. Federer ends his run on a low note and one can say he is starting to decline in his games as well.

After a strong finish in his match for the third round, Federer has quickly marked the end of his French Open run this year. He closed out his game with a walk-off and allowed Matteo Berrettini to move to the next round.

The Swiss was set to face the Italian star in the fourth round. Federer then later opted not to show up in the match and said he did not want to risk his next set of games at the very least.

Federer is seeded eighth, and he plays in his third tourney for the last 16 months. He had two surgeries on his right knee in 2020 which kept him out in that span. The former 2009 French Open champ had strong results in the clay court for most of his career too. 

The Swiss star ruled out his run in this year’s edition of the French Open and saw he had played only a few games on clay to be able to last in a long series of a best of five-set matches.

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Federer’s exit

Federer is the oldest player in this year’s contest. He is set for a tough half of the draw. If he continued to play and win, he could have faced his two main rivals - world no. 1 Novak Djokovic and 13-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal.

The Swiss didn’t want to take his chances this time and opted out instead.

‘After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehab, it’s vital that I listen to my body and make sure I don’t push myself too quickly on my road to recovery’, Federer said. ‘I’m thrilled I have gotten three matches under my belt’.

Federer made it clear to the public that his goal is to make another run at Wimbledon - where he has won an Open Era record of eight singles titles. He came close to his ninth in 2019 before losing then to Djokovic in the final.

The star could have battled Djokovic in the quarter-finals this week if he won over Berrettini in the fourth round. Federer opted to pull out about 15 hours after beating Dominik Koepfer.

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Federer’s future

The win over Koepfer was his first night match at the French Open. Federer has been playing in the contest since 1999, and this might just be his last run at the tourney with his 40th birthday closing in fast this August. It is also unclear how long he will play this year alone.

Federer’s move also drew some criticism from Paul McNamee, who is the Australian Open’s former contest director.

‘That’s not how it works’, McNamee said. ‘You’re not at a candy store, able to pick and choose which matches you play, as your actions affect others, and the tournament’.

If it is already Federer’s closing match at the French Open, then fans won’t be happy to know it ended this way. The Swiss used to be a fan favourite at the contest and it was his classic play style that made him a huge icon. Federer is a durable champ. So this move to step out of the French Open came out as a shocker to many.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA