You probably know him, an icon not just in Lawn tennis but in sports generally. He is the artistic genius on court, Roger Federer of Switzerland, a 20-time Grand Slam title winner. He is "tennis made easy", you watch him and you get interested in 🎾 tennis even if you were watching tennis for the first time.
These days he is aged 39, menancingly defying age statistics that expect him not to be playing top level tennis at his age. He is still going strong! However,he has been out of the game for 18 months due to injury, but passed fit in time for him to participate in this ongoing prestigious Grand Slam event where he was ranked 8th– The French Open or The Roland Garros. He just concluded the third match on Sunday with a victory, but it was a long drawn battle of a match which lasted over three and half hours, concluding by 12:45am on Sunday morning. Eventhough he beat Germany's Koepfer 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to qualify for the Round of 16, you could see he was lacking his usual fluidity and conviction. He made 63 unforced errors and 51 winners; if you know tennis you will agree that this explains the scoreline and that the message goes without saying, "something just ain't right"(as the African Americans will say).[smiles]
The issue is a trouble with his knee, he has had two knee surgeries in the last 18 months alone and after careful analysis by the player and his team, it seems clear he stands the risk of more injuries if he continues, especially on clay(which is the toughest for the body) where the French Open is always played. Federer said: "After discussions with my team, I've decided I will need to pull out of Roland Garros today," He further added:"I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court."
For the records,this is the first time Federer has conceded a walkover at a Grand Slam, this being his 80th major. By the way he will be 40 yrs in August and so must be smart with his health. He is not particularly a fan of the French Open though, this being his second attendance since 2015. Clay courts simply don't perfectly suite his style. He obviously is resting those knees for my birthday(June 28th) when his favorite competition– Wimbledon commences.
He is "Lord of the ring" here, winning a record 8 Wimbledon singles titles, the most by anyone. Infact from 2003,he won it five consecutive years. He will surely be back at the races when Wimbledon commences. Hopefully his body will hold firm throughout and he treats us to his usual exciting tennis and thus add some colour to my birthday week.
In other news few hours after Federer's victory another tennis great could not do same. She is same age as Federer and a former world number one too, Serena Williams of the USA. She was ranked 7th in this event and lost 6-3, 7-5 to Kazakh 21st seed Elena Rybakina,who is enjoying her best run ever at a major. Serena is one short of Margaret Court's 24 Singles titles the all-time record for most Grand Slam women singles titles. Hope she tries again.