Roger Federer entered Roland Garros as his first major event in nearly 500 days, hoping to win a couple of matches and shape his game heading into the grass tour. The Swiss veteran entered just the fourth tournament since last year's Australian Open, battling a knee injury and doing his best to get back on track after two knee surgeries.
Roger had three victories in Paris before retiring before the Matteo Berrettini clash, he was unwilling to test his knee any more and resting a bit before Halle and Wimbledon. Former Major finalist Greg Rusedski was unimpressed with Roger's decision, describing it as disrespectful to the organizers and fans.
The Brit suggested that he should have stepped onto the court against the Italian, played a couple of games and retired. Roger defeated Denis Istomin and Marin Cilic to advance to the third round, scoring his first Major wins since last year's Australian Open and facing Dominik Koepfer.
Federer beat Koepfer 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 in three hours and 35 minutes on an empty court Philippe-Chatrier, advancing to the fourth round but putting too much pressure on his knee after not playing for 13 months!
Federer on his run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon
Following his quarter-final exit at Wimbledon this year, Roger Federer spoke to Jonathan Heaf of the GQ Magazine about a number of topics, including his campaign at SW19 and how he has modified his training regimen with age.
"Obviously, it's always hard leaving a court after losing at Wimbledon earlier than a final… When you reach a final, there's a trophy ceremony, there's more to it, but when you lose earlier, well, you pack your stuff and you go and, at that point, the stage is your winning opponent’s, in my mind, not yours.
So that was important for me to give that one to Hubert [Hurkacz], obviously, as quickly as possible," Federer said. The Swiss nevertheless expressed satisfaction over his run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for an 18th time.
Federer was quick to point out that many players had never made a single last-eight appearance at SW19, and that it was important not to take any result for granted. "But at the end of the day, I made the quarters – I played Wimbledon," Federer remarked.
"You can never take that sort of thing for granted: remember, other guys never had a quarterfinal in their life at Wimbledon and I've had so many that I think I have got to have a little perspective and see that actually, overall, it was a really good tournament for me."