French Open tennis - Roger Federer 'to decide if I keep on playing' or pull out after Dominik Koepfer victory
It was not an easy evening for Roger Federer as he played late into the night against Dominik Koepfer and eventually won through in four gruelling sets to progress through to the fourth round at the French Open. Whilst he produced a number of memorable shots, it was a scrappy encounter for much of its duration and it took a great deal of resolve for Federer to pull through. Now, he may pull out.
Roger Federer has revealed that he may have to withdraw from the French Open after he was given a long challenge by Dominik Koepfer in their third-round clash before he was eventually able to close out a four-set win, 7-6 6-7 7-6 7-5, late on Saturday night.
When Federer did finally close out the win 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.
The Swiss has now spoken openly about considering pulling out of the tournament due to the stress and strain on his body from the gruelling late match.
It was a quite ridiculous shot from the 39-year-old eighth seed, who is aiming to win his 21st Grand Slam title in Paris this fortnight.
Indeed, it was not the first wonder shot from Federer in the contest. Earlier he produced a sumptuous drop volley to win a point in hugely impressive fashion.
'How about that?!' - Federer with 'dream' drop volley
The late evening slot on Court Philippe Chatrier with no fans inside the stadium always leaves a strange atmosphere and both players appeared to struggle at times to muster the energy to be at the top of their games.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Federer have all found themselves in the same part of the men's draw in what is an intriguing prospect.
The draw looks particularly exciting for Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev with the trio not having to face any of the 'Big Three' until the final at least.
Djokovic could take on Nadal in the semi-finals in Paris in what would be a repeat from last year's final in the postponed autumnal edition.
The three most successful players in the history of the men's game have won 17 of the last 20 Grand Slam titles between them.
'How on earth?' - Federer with round-the-net stunner to win wild point