The essentials Carried but unharmed, the Swiss left Paris to save his knee and his chances for Wimbledon. A premiere that is being discussed.
Two scenes, two atmospheres. Night from Saturday to Sunday, 12:43 am, Roger Federer lifts his arms, happy as a newcomer to have snapped himself in the cool, behind closed doors “conditions better known by the juniors” at Central, with pride after 3:35 of the unequal fight against Dominik Koepfer (57th), for his first marathon in 17 months (Australian Open 2020), without complaining about the programs imposed by Prime Video, the broadcaster of the night sessions since this edition, without rushing the press conference that lasted until 2am, when he could have rolled it all out much earlier if you had the context to die for. The class of the holy monster, absolute respect.
Yesterday, 4:22 p.m., press release, much less elegant, in which Roger Federer openly insisted on leaving the tournament: “After two knee operations and more than a year of rehab, it is important that I listen to my body and that I leave when I return into the competition not too fast. “He had turned on the pump when leaving the field, proof that his decision had already been made:” What is the goal of the season? It’s not the title at Roland Garros. “No, his only obsession is to win a 21st major title, at Wimbledon, to match or surpass Rafael Nadal, depending on the Mallorcan course at this Roland Garros. Guy Forget, Tournament Director, battered but stuck, it played politically correct: “We wish him all the best for the future”.
At Roland-Garros for Rolex?
To withdraw from a Grand Slam without being able to play is “undoubtedly a first in history,” said Patrice Hagelauer, coach of Yannick Noah in 1983, and Arnaud Di Pasquale, who had defeated Roger Federer, in the choir for an Olympic bronze medal in Sydney in 2000. We can respect the caution of the Helvetic Future Quadra (August) who is afraid of too much trouble ruining everything when he comes out of recovery. We can also accept his wish to stand on the shoe for Halle (Germany, June 14th), a lawn preparation tournament before Wimbledon, in which, for once, there are only two weeks between the Paris and London raises.
But we can also wonder at the kind of respect he shows Roland-Garros, which is considered a vulgar training phase, while the control protocols have never really been a problem, according to Arnaud Clément, who has now been elected to the FFT: “A player can the tournaments without going into the hands of the doctor. But if you tell him you don’t feel fit to play, he won’t force you. ” Roger Federer’s attitude is controversial. His story with Roland-Garros has not been entirely clear for some time. After four years of abstinence, he returned there in 2019 when his main sponsor (Rolex), of which he is the ambassador, became the tournament’s official watchmaker.
Topo ditto or almost, and for the same reasons, at the Masters 1000 in Bercy. Simon Meier, special correspondent for “La Tribune de Genève” at Roland-Garros, almost smiles: “I’m not on my knees, but Roger has allowed himself everything for 15 years because he is allowed to do everything. He has come to look for it. ” . in Paris what he needed, namely 7:43 hours of playing time. There is a form of selfishness and pride in his approach, especially since he had very little chance given his condition, Matteo Berrettini (10th) the second round. And then to make it clear as soon as he left the court that he would not play, limited in time compared to Köpfer. “
If Roger Federer gallops in Halle in 10 days, the controversy will start again …