PARIS: Daniil Medvedev, the colorful Russian world number two, backed on Sunday by Roger Federer to win Wimbledon “at 50” after the Swiss veteran withdrew from the French Open.
Federer, the 20-time major winner, withdrew from the tournament despite having already reached the final 16.
“We all know that a Grand Slam is still a goal for him. I think Wimbledon is always there even when he will be 50 years old,” Medvedev said.
“It’s a big chance for him. He wants to do his best to prepare. ‘
Federer, who turns 40 within two months, said he was withdrawing from Roland Garros and preferred to focus on his primary goal of winning a ninth Wimbledon title.
“After two knee surgeries and more than a year of rehabilitation, it’s important that I listen to my body and make sure I do not impress myself too quickly on my path to recovery,” he said.
Federer fought three and a half hours until Sunday morning at 12:45 to reach the last 16 with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4) , 7- 5 victory over the 59th ranking Dominik Koepfer.
He had to be in court again on Monday to tackle Matteo Berrettini for a place in the quarterfinals.
Medvedev said those criticizing Federer about the withdrawal after the game and not before what could have allowed a suitable Koepfer to progress were wrong.
“If Koepfer wants to be in the next round, sorry, he had to beat Roger,” Medevedev said.
“It doesn’t matter if he retires after that. That’s how tennis is. To be in the next round, you have to beat your opponent.”
“I do not see why he should be criticized. At the same time, I understand people who do it. I will not criticize him.”
Medvedev reached the quarterfinals of the French Open for the first time and will tackle the Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the last four.
Medvedev, who has never won a game in Roland Garros before, defeated Chile’s Cristian Garin 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 in his last 16 draws.
Tsitsipas, a semi-finalist in 2020, overcame Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.