"I am thrilled to have gotten 3 matches under my belt," Roger Federer wrote in a statement

By Glenn Garner
June 06, 2021 01:00 PM
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Roger Federer

Roger Federer has withdrawn from the 2021 French Open, following his third-round victory against Dominik Koepfer on Saturday night.

"After discussions with my team, I've decided I will need to pull out of the French Open today," the Swiss tennis star, 39, wrote Sunday in a statement posted to Twitter, citing fitness concerns.

"After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation it's important that I listen to my body and make sure I don't push myself too quickly on my road to recovery," Federer added. "I am thrilled to have gotten 3 matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court. See everyone soon!"

His announcement comes after he won against Koepfer in four sets (7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5), during a 3.5-hour match. He prevailed against Denis Istomin in the first round, before beating Marin Čilić in round two.

Federer, who ranks No. 8 in the world, was set to face off against ninth-ranked Matteo Berrettini, who will now play either No.1 Novak Djokovic or Lorenzo Musetti in the quarterfinals.

"The Roland-Garros Tournament is sorry about the withdrawal of Roger Federer, who put up an incredible fight last night," Roland-Garros Tournament Director Guy Forget wrote in a statement. "We were all delighted to see Roger back in Paris, where he played three high-level matches. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season."

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The 20-time Grand Slam title holder previously pulled out of last year's French Open, after he had arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He later withdrew from the rest of the season that June.

"My right knee has been bothering me for a little while. I hoped it would go away, but after an examination, and discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday," he wrote at the time. "After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery."

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Federer's announcement came less than a week after Naomi Osaka announced that she would withdraw from the French Open.

Ahead of the tournament's start, Osaka said she wouldn't be doing press during the championship in an effort to preserve her mental health. She shared she was pulling out of the competition after picking up her first win and a $15,000 fine for not participating in media requirements.

Osaka wrote on social media in response, "The best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly."