Roger Federer withdrew from the fourth round of the French Open on Sunday after a grueling third-round victory over Dominik Koepfer.
Federer was competing in his first Grand Slam event in more than a year after missing time because of multiple knee surgeries. He defeated Koepfer on Saturday in a four-set match that lasted more than three-and-a-half hours and discussed the possibility of pulling out after the win.
"I don't know if I am going to play," Federer told reporters after the match. "I have to decide whether or not to continue. Is it too risky to keep putting pressure on the knee? Is it a good time to rest?"
He continued: "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. It may be even more true after a match as long as the one tonight."
No. 9 seed Matteo Berrettini will now advance to the quarterfinals instead of facing Federer in Round 4.
Federer is looking to extend a career that includes 20 Grand Slam titles, tied with Rafael Nadal for the most in men's tennis history.
Injuries have limited the 39-year-old as of late, however, causing him to miss much of the 2020 season as well as the start of the 2021 campaign. He returned in March but managed just a 1-2 record to start the year, with losses coming in Doha, Qatar, and Geneva, Switzerland.
The veteran looked like his old self early at Roland Garros, defeating Denis Istomin and Marin Cilic in the first two rounds. The third-round battle against Koepfer was more difficult, as each of the first three sets went to a tiebreak, but he still survived with a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5 win.
The match also featured some elite shots from the No. 8 seed:
Fans were salivating about a potential quarterfinal battle against Novak Djokovic and a semifinal match against Rafael Nadal, which are no longer in the cards.
Federer will likely now turn his attention to getting healthy for Wimbledon, which is scheduled to begin June 28.