Exclusive – Greg Rusedski says Roger Federer was disrespectful to pull out of French Open

Kevin Palmer
Roger Federer takes the applause

Former British No 1 Greg Rusedski believes Roger Federer was “disrespectful” to pull out of the French Open after winning his first three matches.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion admitted he was not expecting to make it through to the fourth round in Paris, as he made his comeback from an extended injury lay-off.

Federer then pulled out of the tournament and confirmed he has set his sights on trying to perform at his best at Wimbledon, but Rusedski suggested he should not have taken that step in a major tournament.

“It was a little disrespectful to pull-out the way he did,” Amazon Prime analyst Rusedski told Tennis365 in an exclusive interview.

“I wish he had gone on court against Matteo Berrettini. There are four big tournaments in the tennis year and the French Open is one of them.

“He gets away with it because he is Roger Federer and people want to see him play, but I just don’t think it was right. He should have gone out there against Berrettini. Even if he lost in straight sets, it doesn’t matter.

“This was the fourth round of a major and if he steps on court, plays five games and says his knees are hurting, at least he has shown up.”

Rusedski believes Federer could still be a force at Wimbledon, as the eight-time champion at the All England Club attempts to pull off a miracle win at the age of 39.

“Who knows how long he will play for,” added Rusedski, ahead of Federer’s appearance in the Halle grass-court event.

“That may have been his last Roland Garros, but we keep wondering when Roger might stop.

“From what we saw of him in the first three rounds in Paris, he could be a danger at Wimbledon. 

“He surprised himself by winning three matches at the French Open, but his focus all year has been Wimbledon and the Olympics. 

“He doesn’t have that gold medal in singles and the last time he played at Wimbledon he had a couple of match points against Novak Djokovic in the final and lost.

“That was a huge moment in his career and Roger and he will not want that to be his last match at Wimbledon.

“This is the most stylish player to ever play our sport, beautiful to watch, but his chances at Wimbledon come down to how well he can move.

“If he is moving well, he has a chance to get into the latter stages of the tournament, but if he is a step slower, this sport can be very cruel and I know that from personal experience.”

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