Roger Federer has played very few matches since his return to the pitch last March. After undergoing two surgeries on his right knee in 2020, the Swiss champion struggled more than expected to put matches in his legs. The former world number 1 returned to Doha to test his condition, leaving the stage in the quarter-finals at the hands of Nikoloz Basilashvili.
He was not very lucky even in Geneva, where he was even eliminated on his debut by an incredulous Pablo Andujar. The first timid signs of recovery had arrived at Roland Garros, with King Roger able to push himself up to the second round thanks also to a not impossible scoreboard.
Before taking the field against Matteo Berrettini, the 20-time Grand Slam champion however announced his retirement as a precaution. The goal of safeguarding the season on grass led him not to squeeze his body too much, but it also attracted a lot of criticism in those days.
A month and a half later, the director of the French Open Guy Forget defended the controversial choice of the Maestro from Basel.
Forget opens up on Roger Federer
"On social media, you hear anything and everything. You see people who are totally, disproportionately vile towards Roger Federer and others who completely understand.
He retired, which he had never done in a Grand Slam before" - Guy Forget stated. The Frenchman revealed Federer signed a document in front of the match referee in which he cited his knee injury as the reason for his withdrawal.
"To put him on trial for lack of respect is unfair, I am convinced that it is not that," added Guy Forget. "He went to the doping control, which is compulsory when you retire, he went to the medical service, he saw the referee, he signed a document, where it is indicated that his knee is the reason for his forfeit .
The reality is that Roger was not fit to play. We are talking about a champion who is 40 years old, who has undergone two difficult knee operations, who is engaged in a race against time to return to his best level," explained Forget.
"Roland Garros for him was a way to rebuild his game. He had no choice (but to withdraw)." Roger Federer’s long-time coach, Severin Luthi, will not be traveling to Tokyo Olympics with Switzerland’s tennis contingent.
The decision comes a week after Federer’s withdrawal from the Olympics Games as he cited a ‘setback’ experienced with his knee during the grass-court season.