Paris, June 6 (IANS) Twenty-time Grand Slam singles champion Roger Federer of Switzerland has indicated that he would not be averse to pulling out of the French Open if the tournament is a stepping stone to “something that is really important to me”.
Federer, 39, came off a gruelling three hour and 39 minute-match against Germany’s 27-year-old Dominik Koepfer to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros. He will take on ninth seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy for a place in the quarter-finals, where world No.1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia could be waiting.
“These [tournaments] are all stepping stones to something that is really important to me. It is the season, and it is the comeback. I need matches like these,” he said at the post-match press conference after his 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 win over Koepfer.
Federer underwent two knee surgeries last year and is competing in only his third event since the 2020 Australian Open.
“We go through these matches, we analyse them highly and look on what’s next and will do the same tonight and tomorrow, because I need to decide if I keep on playing or not or is it not too much risk at this moment to keep on pushing, or is this just a perfect way to just take a rest?”
“Because I don’t have the week in between here and Halle (the grass-court tournament preferred for Wimbledon tune-up) like normal to see what’s best now, if you count back from Wimbledon and so forth. It’s just a lot going on, but having a match like this, knowing I could have probably played a fifth set but not knowing how I will wake up tomorrow is interesting, to say the least,” said Federer
Federer is an eight-time Wimbledon singles champion and he is aiming for his 21 Grand Slam title at his favourite Grand Slam, which commences on June 28.
The Swiss great made 63 unforced errors during the match Koepfer, quite unlike Federer as the contest as he avoided what would have been his earliest exit from the French Open since 2004.