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Andy Murray backs Roger Federer’s “sensible” decision to withdraw from French Open

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Andy Murray backs Roger Federer’s “sensible” decision to withdraw from French Open

Former world champion and British professional tennis player, Andy Murray, welcomed Roger Federer’s “sensible decision” to pull out from the French Open despite having reached the fourth round, in order to protect his body after two knee operations and opt to focus his efforts on his primary objective of winning a ninth Wimbledon title. He is chasing a ninth title at Wimbledon which starts on June 28.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer, who will be 40 in two months’ time, battled over three and a half hours until 12:45 Sunday morning to reach the last 16 with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win over 59th-ranked Dominik Koepfer. “After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of Roland Garros today,” the 39-year-old said.

Federer decided to end his Roland Garros campaign on Sunday, a day after winning a gruelling third-round match against Dominik Koepfer.

Eight-time Wimbledon winner Federer, who has hardly played in the last 17 months because of a knee injury, had been due to face Italian ninth seed Matteo Berrettini in the French Open on Monday.

Replying to a tweet from a user who said Federer was “disrespectful” to other players for “using” the French Open to gain fitness, Murray said “In basketball, football etc when returning from injury players are given reduced minutes to build up their fitness.

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“In tennis you don’t have that luxury of just playing a set in first match then 2 sets the next etc and building up that way.

“I’d argue that it’s quite risky to play multiple 4hr matches in a row in your 2nd tournaments back in 18 months so to me it makes sense to be reactive based on how your body feels, length of matches etc (sic).”

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Federer’s decision sparked mixed reactions, with seven-time French Open winner Chris Evert saying the Swiss had earned the right to do so, while former US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe said he understood Federer’s reasoning, but it was not a good look.

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