A week ago, Roger Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, admitted having no chance at a second French Open title at the Roland Garros. The 2009 champion arrived in Paris having played just three games in over a year or more followed by two knee surgeries. But Federer, who yet remains among the favourites, survived a tense four-set battle against Dominik Koepfer in the third round in front of an empty Philippe-Chatrier on Saturday night to reach the second week of French Open 2021.
Despite the valiant win, Federer is contemplating a withdrawal from the tournament.
“I don’t know if I am going to play,” said Federer, who will next 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?”
Federer, who is two months shy of his 40th birthday, has always preferred the grass-court season in build-up to his beloved Wimbledon Championships, over any other type.
He will be looking for an unprecedented ninth title at the SW19 this year, a title he last won in 2017 and had come inches closer to his ninth in 2019 during the four hours and 58 minutes battle against Novak Djokovic.
“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 court for 3 hours and 35 minutes.
“It may be even more true after a match as long as the one tonight.”