Former Roland Garros semifinalist Marc Rosset has thrown his weight behind Roger Federer's controversial decision to pull out of the claycourt Major.
Roger Federer pulled out of Roland Garros on Sunday, sparking a furious debate amongst the tennis fraternity. The 39-year-old said he took the decision to protect his body ahead of the grasscourt season.
Many, including fierce rival Novak Djokovic, felt the Swiss was not wrong to pull the plug on his campaign in Paris, but some fans believe Federer showed a lack of respect towards the tournament.
Weighing in on the situation, Marc Rosset said the 20-time Major champion deserves credit for being entirely transparent about the reasons for his withdrawal and not fabricating an injury to protect his image.
“You can’t accuse Roger of not having done much for tennis," Rosset said. "And I think he always upholds fair play. Even in this situation. He could also have said he hurt his shoulder. So many players withdraw and invent some injury. Roger didn’t do that, he openly told it like it is.
"Of course, his forfeit is a shock for people. Especially since it’s a Grand Slam. But when you come back after 15 months and two knee operations, at 39, it’s a special case."
Rosset also believes Roger Federer can win a 21st Grand Slam title as he is not cut from the same cloth as the rest of the tour.
“I think Roger can win another Grand Slam title if he feels good and is well prepared," added Rosset. "If not in Wimbledon, then maybe somewhere else. Champions like him tick differently than we do. You can’t measure them by normal standards."
I see no reason why Roger Federer should stop this year: Marc Rosset
Many feel this year could be Roger Federer's last on tour, given he will turn 40 in August. But Rosset reckons the Swiss could carry on for at least another year as long as he does not suffer further injury setbacks.
“I hope we will see him again in Australia," said the former World No. 9. "Of course, it’s crucial that he doesn’t have any setbacks physically and feels that he’s reaching a certain level. If that is the case, I see no reason why he should stop this year. He has invested so much to come back again.”
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