Roger Federer said Sunday he is considering withdrawing from the French Open despite reaching the fourth round as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal set up clashes with two Italian teenagers widely seen as their Grand Slam heir apparents. Two months shy of his 40th birthday, Federer, the 2009 champion, and probably taking part in his last Roland Garros, reached the second week for the 15th time. His knife-edge 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win over 59th-ranked Dominik Koepfer took place in Court Philippe Chatrier devoid of fans and atmosphere due to a government-enforced Covid-19 curfew.
Roger Federer, who underwent two knee surgeries last year and is playing just his third event since the 2020 Australian Open, is scheduled to face Italy’s Matteo Berrettini on Monday.
“I don’t know if I am going to play,” said Federer whose 3hr 35min tie ended just before 12:45 on Sunday morning.
“I have to decide whether or not to continue playing. Is it too risky to keep putting pressure on the knee? Is it a good time to rest?”
The 20-time Grand Slam title winner has always said Wimbledon is his priority this year.
He is chasing a ninth title at the All England Club where the action starts on June 28.
He is also scheduled to play the warm-up grass court tournament in Halle beginning on June 14, the day after the French Open ends.
“Every match I have to reassess the situation and see the next morning in what state I wake up and how my knee is doing,” added Federer.
Djokovic, the champion in Paris in 2016 and chasing a 19th Grand Slam title, brushed aside 93rd-ranked Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-1, 6-4, 6-1.
The world number one is in the last 16 for the 12th successive year and will next face 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti.
Defending champion Nadal reached the fourth round for a record 16th time, claiming his 103rd victory in Paris to set a new record of match wins at a Grand Slam, eclipsing Federer’s 102 at the Australian Open
Nadal’s 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Britain’s Cameron Norrie put him into the last 16 of a major for the 50th time.
Nadal, chasing a 14th Roland Garros title and record-setting 21st Grand Slam, goes on to face Italian teenager Jannik Sinner.
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