Roger Federer on Sunday announced his withdrawal from Roland Garros 2021 in a bid to protect his body ahead of the grasscourt season. While some are disappointed by Federer's decision, Mats Wilander believes the Swiss has made the right call in regards to his long-term fitness.
At 39, Roger Federer arguably does not have more than two years left on tour. While he may have successfully recovered from his knee injury, any further setback could spell the end of his career.
Speaking to Eurosport, Mats Wilander backed Federer's decision and said it showed the 39-year-old is keen to play on tour for as long as possible.
"Well he talked about it pretty much straight after his match a little bit and I mean, we all were hoping it wasn't gonna be the case," Wilander said. "But at the same time, it just proves that it's a long-term project for him to come back and that for me is good news because it means he's gonna be around for a bit longer."
Wilander further suggested that Roger Federer did not stand much of a chance in the second week at Roland Garros, given he would have faced Matteo Berrettini and then possibly Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The Swede reckons Federer did the right thing by withdrawing after having played three matches.
"Yeah, obviously he got the matches that he needed and wanted and (it would have been) tough to go up again Matteo Berrettini and then you have Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, so why not (withdraw)," added the Swede.
"The main period for him over the years is the grass court season...so yes obviously perfect for him. I think it's absolutely perfect preparation."
What does Roger Federer's decision mean for his quarter of the draw at Roland Garros?
Roger Federer's decision to pull out means Matteo Berrettini, who was due to play the Swiss in the fourth round on Monday, is into the quarterfinals. The Italian will have an extra day of rest before a likely meeting with Novak Djokovic in the last eight.
Djokovic will have to battle it out with Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti on Monday to secure his spot in the quarterfinals.
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