French Open tennis - 'Roger Federer got perfect preparation for Wimbledon' - Mats Wilander and Mischa Zverev
"After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of the French Open today," Federer said in a statement. "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. I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back."
'Federer got perfect prep for Wimbledon' - Wilander and Zverev
Roger Federer has withdrawn from the French Open ahead of his fourth round match and Mats Wilander and Mischa Zverev believe it's perfect prep for Wimbledon.
When Federer was finally able to close out a tough four-set win over Dominik Koepfer after three tie-breakers and three hours and 35 minutes, he cut a relieved and weary figure at close to 1am local time in Paris.
"He talked about it pretty much straight after his match and we were all hoping it was not going to be the case [that he was going to withdraw]," Wilander said.
"At the same time, it proves that it’s a long-term project for him to come back. For me, that’s good news because it shows he’s going to be around for a bit longer. Obviously, he got the matches that he needed and he wanted.
Federer reveals he may pull out of French Open
"It would be tough to go up against Matteo Berrettini and then you have Novak Djokovic and maybe Rafa Nadal.
"The main period for him over the years is the grass court season – he obviously enjoys all the Grand Slams and different surfaces – but grass comes so naturally to him and that’s where he has had the most success.
So, yes, obviously perfect for him. He beat Marin Cilic, who’s a great player, he won a tough four-setter against Dominic Koepfer, so he won a lot of big points. I think it’s absolutely perfect preparation.
Zverev added: "He made it to the second week as we all predicted and he did play some great tennis. He moved well and it has happened in the past where he had a few tough matches – I think it was in Rome where we had two matches in one day and he said, 'Look...' – because he wants to play his best tennis when he steps on to the court.
"If he doesn’t feel 100 per cent he doesn’t want to risk hurting himself or giving a poor performance. It’s not who he is, and that’s why he decided he'd better wait for the next one.
"After being on the court for so many years, you do understand your body. Every time you feel something you do potentially know what it could mean for the future. That’s why he wants to be careful; that’s why he wants to be cautious; and that’s why he wants to be ready for the grass courts.
"I think he’s always been very smart with those decisions. I think this time he knew what he was doing."
Highlights: Federer battles through in late night clash with Koepfer
The Roland Garros tournament organisers first announced Federer's news, quoting him on Sunday afternoon that he had withdrawn from the fourth round of the tournament.