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Roger Federer Pulls Out of French Open • Full Statement Here

Roger Federer pulled out of the French Open a day after he out-dueled Dominik Koepfer in a three hour, 35-minute epic. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON

Roger Federer’s Roland Garros is over after three rounds.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion officially withdrew from the French Open today, following his epic three hour, 35-minute victory over German left-hander Dominik Koepfer that began on Saturday night and spilled over into Sunday morning.

The 39-year-old Swiss superstar withdrew to ensure his surgically-repaired knee is fit for the upcoming grass-court season. Federer has undergone two knee surgeries since his last Roland Garros appearance in 2009 and is mindful of the state of his knee after matches.

“After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of Roland-Garros today,” Federer said. “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.

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

“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,” said Guy Forget, Tournament Director.

The 39-year-old Swiss hinted he might pull out of Paris in his early-morning post-match press conference after defeating Koepfer 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5.

“I mean, every match here or Geneva I have to reassess the situation after the match and see in the morning how I wake up and how does the knee, you know, feel the next morning,” Federer said. “So from that standpoint for me it always goes like that.

“There is no difference after a match like this, but maybe even more so after a match like this that has been long. Like I explained before, I have not been two-, three-and-a-half-hour battles in practice either.”

The 2009 Roland Garros champion’s withdrawal sends ninth-seeded Matteo Berrettini into the quarterfinals on a walkover.  Berrettini awaits the winner of the fourth-round clash between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and 19-year-old Italian magic man Lorenzo Musetti.

Federer’s departure will give him more time to prepare for grass season. The eight-time Wimbledon champion reached the final of The Championships in his last appearance and held a pair of championship points before bowing to Djokovic.

Roger Federer’s withdrawal sends No. 9-seeded Matteo Berrettini into the Roland Garros quarterfinals.

Not only has Roland Garros lost Federer, but a large segment of the American audience missed the opportunity to see his last French Open match.

NBC opted to broadcast Federer’s third-round match on its Peacock streaming network rather than on live TV which effectively blacked out the Swiss’ dramatic victory for a large segment of the American audience on Saturday night.