Roger Federer returns to grass after gap of 2 years, says pulling out of RG was the "right decision"

Roger Federer
Roger Federer

Roger Federer will kickstart his grass season in a few days' time when he takes the court in Halle. The Swiss, a 10-time champion in Halle, hasn't played on grass since 2019 - when he won the title in the German city.

Here's a look at his first training session on the grass courts of Halle:

Speaking to the media on Friday, Federer gave his thoughts on the upcoming grasscourt season and also explained his decision to pull out of Roland Garros a day before his fourth-round match against Matteo Berrettini.

Roger Federer entered Roland Garros with the intention of gaining match practice ahead of the grass season. After playing a tiring four-setter against Dominik Koepfer in the third round, the 39-year-old pulled the plug on his campaign in Paris.

His decision drew the ire of many fans and experts who claimed he treated the Major with a lack of respect. However, Roger Federer firmly believes he took the right call to withdraw from Roland Garros.

β€œIt is normal for all sorts of experts to come out and give their opinion," Federer said. β€œThat's part of it, you have to do it. I am still totally convinced that it was the right decision."

When asked to shed more light on his withdrawal, Federer said he would not divulge any more details that could benefit his opponents.

"My opponents don't have to know," he added. "In our team it was a very easy decision not to play against Berrettini. "After that (match against Dominik Koepfer) I knew secretly that more would be very difficult. I know how my body reacts and I have to listen to it."
Roger Federer after beating Dominik Koepfer
Roger Federer after beating Dominik Koepfer

Roger Federer last played competitively on grass in 2019, but the Swiss is confident he will not need much time to get acclimatized to the surface.

"I want to show off my best grass tennis and play to win,” he said. β€œFor me it's very easy on grass, I don't even need a day to feel good on the grass. I felt how easily everything becomes automatic again for me on grass."

"The most important thing is that I don't get hurt" - Roger Federer

Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2019
Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2019

Roger Federer said winning the title at Halle would significantly boost his confidence, but stressed the key aspect for him was to remain healthy.

β€œA victory would show that I'm on the right track to regaining the confidence and the fun,” continued Federer. β€œBut the most important thing is that I don't get hurt."

The World No. 8 revealed he had not suffered any injury setbacks on his return to the tour and that he was hoping to kickstart his season in Halle.

"Ever since (comeback in March) I've only seen improvement, no setbacks," he added. "After I guess the two operations I have to be extremely careful with every move I do. But now it's really go time. This is essentially where the season really starts for me."

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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