Patrick McEnroe on Roger Federer’s French Open withdrawal: ‘I don’t like it. It’s not a tune-up tournament’
He understands the reasoning behind it, but Patrick McEnroe has voiced his disapproval of Roger Federer’s decision to withdraw from the French Open.
After coming through a taxing three-hour and 35 minute third-round clash against Dominik Koepfer at Roland Garros, Federer announced after the match that he could pull out of tournament as it is was only a stepping stone to Wimbledon.
And on Sunday the 39-year-old confirmed his withdrawal, stating: “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.”
Most pundits have backed Federer’s decision, but former doubles Grand Slam champion McEnroe says he “doesn’t like it”.
— Patrick McEnroe (@PatrickMcEnroe) June 6, 2021
In a video on Twitter he said: “So Roger Federer is out of the French Open after his three and a half hour win over Dominik Koepfer. Tough match, a grinding match ended after midnight in Paris. Federer hinted right after the match that he might not play that fourth-round against Berrettini, confirmed today when he pulled out.
“I understand it, but I don’t like it. You know, everyone out there, how much I respect Roger Federer.
“But, to me, he shouldn’t have shown up for the tournament if you knew that this was a strong likelihood, which it sounds like he knew it was going in.
“That being said, he looked very good. He set himself up I believe for a good run at Wimbledon, so you could say ‘well, that’s what it’s all about’.
“I get that. But this is a Major, it’s not a tune-up tournament, it’s the French Open.
“I hope that Federer comes back next year and can play in front of a full audience as no one wants to see him or Rafa [Nadal] or Novak [Djokovic] when they’re done go out with a few people in the stands.
“I understand it, I get it, I still don’t like it. That’s just the way it is, that’s how I feel.
“I hope Roger is ready for the grass. I think he will be and after seeing him at the French Open in these four matches, he is a legitimate threat again to win Wimbledon. Djokovic will be the favourite, Federer second or third.”
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