Roger Federer pulls out of French Open with Wimbledon in mind

Roger Federer, who is targeting a record 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon later this month, decided to pull out of the ongoing French Open on Sunday.

“After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of the French Open today,” the 20-time Grand Slam winner said in a statement.

“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 3 matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court. See everyone soon!”

Federer, who has hardly played in the last 17 months because of a knee injury, suffered physically in his gruelling 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 7-5 win over Germany’s Dominik Koepfer on Saturday.

The 39-year-old was set to face Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the fourth round.

He had earlier said that he was pondering whether to participate in the second week of the claycourt Grand Slam as his season goal was Wimbledon, starting on June 28. “We go through these matches… we analyse them highly and look at what’s next and we’ll do the same tonight and tomorrow,” he said.

“The Roland Garros tournament is sorry about the withdrawal of Roger Federer, who put up an incredible fight last night,” tournament director Guy Forget said in a statement.

“We were all delighted to see Roger back in Paris, where he played three high-level matches. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”

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