PARIS – After winning a grueling third-round match that ended well after midnight, Roger Federer closed his French Open and withdrew from the tournament on Sunday.
Federer, 39, was scheduled to face ninth-seeded Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the fourth round on Monday, but decided he did not want to risk pushing himself beyond his comfort zone.
Federer, who was eighth, played only in his third tournament in the last 16 months after two knee surgeries in 2020. Although he won the French Open in 2009 and has had strong clay court results in his career, he ruled out his chances of winning before this year tournament even began, acknowledging that he had played too little to be able to succeed on clay in a long series of best-of-five-set matches.
Federer, the oldest player in this year’s men’s singles tournament, was also in a brutal half of the draw. That includes his two main rivals: Nr. 1st seed Novak Djokovic and No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal, a 13-time French Open champion.
“After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation, it is important that I listen to my body and make sure I do not push myself too fast on my path to recovery,” Federer said in a statement. “I am excited that I have won three matches under the belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on the field. ”