Eurosport tennis expert Mats Wilander has suggested that Roger Federer didn't want to suffer a Novak Djokovic loss before Wimbledon and that was one of the reasons behind his withdrawal. Federer, a former world No. 1, returned to the French Open for the first time since 2019 and won his first three matches at the tournament.
After beating German Dominik Koepfer in four sets in the third round, Federer hinted he could pull out of the event. Hours later, Federer officially withdrew from the tournament and gave a walkover to Matteo Berrettini.
Federer was coming off two knee surgeries and he didn't want to take any risks by playing more matchs. Federer and Djokovic could have met in a French Open quarterfinal.
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“Yes, I think [he] made a good decision.
I think he would have had options [to win] against Berrettini,” Wilander said in an interview with Punto de Break. “But of course, then he could have met Djokovic and it could have been that the Serb had defeated him in a resounding way and, before Wimbledon – he did not want that.
“He came to Roland Garros, not with the idea of winning, but with the idea of playing several games. He must have earned more than he expected. “But of course, what should he have done? Retiring when he had a match point? He has not played Rome, he has not played Madrid.
He needed a victory! What he did is fine with me. “He knew that, playing that long game [against Koepfer], there were options that he could not recover the next day, but he needed to win that game for his confidence. “To be there, at midnight, on a cold night, with a heavy track, to do that.
People have always seen Federer, but not everyone has realised what Federer has inside. He still has that fire inside of him”.