Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open on Sunday, citing concerns about his physical condition less than 24 hours after a grueling third-round victory 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 in a statement. "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."
Federer, the No. 8 seed at this year's French Open, entered the tournament having played just three matches in a year. He first underwent surgery after the 2020 Australian Open, but persistent swelling in his knee necessitated a second operation last June.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion breezed through the first round earlier this week before handling tough-serving Croatian Marin Cilic in four sets. Federer emerged victorious from a three-and-a-half-hour slugfest against Koepfer on Saturday, winning 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5 as 1 a.m. local time approached.
It may well have been his last match at Roland Garros. No fans were in attendance due to a COVID-19 curfew.
Federer had no expectation of winning the French Open, saying before the tournament he was only being "realistic."
"I'm not so sure in the last 50 years at the French Open, somebody just walked up at 40 years old, being out for a year and a half, and just (went) on to win everything," he said.
Federer will now turn his attention to Wimbledon, which begins June 28. His last appearance at the All England Club came in the 2019 final against Novak Djokovic, which Federer lost in five sets.