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Roger Federer withdraws from French Open after lengthy win, cites knee surgeries

“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,” Federer said.
Roger Federer plays against Germany's Dominik Koepfer in the third round of the French Open on June 5, 2021.
Roger Federer plays against Germany's Dominik Koepfer in the third round of the French Open on June 5, 2021.Christian Hartmann / Reuters

Roger Federer announced he has withdrawn from the French Open, citing previous knee surgeries, rehabilitation and saying he must listen to his body.

Federer won his third-round, which began Saturday evening and stretched into Sunday, prior to the announcement.

In a press release from the Roland-Garros Tournament organizers, Federer said he didn't want to compromise his recovery despite being happy to be playing tennis again.

“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,” Federer said. “I am thrilled to have gotten 3 matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court.”

The event was the 20-time Grand Slam champion's first since the 2020 Australian Open, which preceded the first of two knee operations.

“The Roland Garros tournament is sorry about the withdrawal of Roger Federer, who put up an incredible fight last night. We were all delighted to see Roger back in Paris, where he played three high-level matches. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season," ” tournament director Guy Forget said.

Federer, who was the No. 8 seed, was slated to play Matteo Berrettini, the No. 9 seed, in the fourth round on Monday.

Several others have already pulled out of this year's French Open.

Jennifer Brady, the 13th seed, withdrew after her match against Coco Gauff, the 24th seed, due to plantar fasciitis and a bone bruise in her foot.

Naomi Osaka made headlines after withdrawing from the French Open one day after tennis officials threatened to suspend her and fined her $15,000 over her decision not to do media interviews during the tournament to prioritize her mental health.

"The best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris," she said in a statement. "I never wanted to be a distraction and accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer."

The Associated Press contributed.