Roger Federer has withdrawn from the French Open to protect his body despite reaching the fourth round.
This announcement follows a gruelling match last night where the former number one battled through the early hours of the morning.
He won the French title in 2009, had two knee surgeries last year and had played only three matches in 16 months before arriving in Paris.
He has made no secret that his priority for this year is Wimbledon, which starts on 28 June.
French Open 2021 statement
Federer knew it was over
The third round against German lefty Dominik Koepfer in a night-session showdown that lasted three hours and 35 minutes and ended 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 7-5 in Federer’s favour just before 1:00 am BST on Sunday morning.
In that game, you could see the agony in the face of Roger. He knew at that point his body could not take the torment that Roland Garros tournament offers.
“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,” The Swiss International said.
He had been due to face Italian ninth seed Matteo Berrettini on Monday.
The Swiss, who turns 40 in August, had not played many times at Roland Garros in recent years, sitting out three successive editions from 2016 because of injury and a wish to manage his workload.
It’s been an eventful first week at Roland-Garros 2021, with fans returning to the stands, night sessions debuting at the tournament, stars shining and others suffering unexpected defeats.
The Roland-Garros tournament is one of the major tennis tournaments held over two weeks at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France. It is a tournament dominated by Rafa Nadal who is also ageing but vying to defend his crown. If Nadal wins this tournament he will pass the Swiss No.1 in all-time grand slams.