‘Roger Federer withdrawal is a special case – he always upholds fair play,’ says compatriot

Former Swiss Olympic gold medallist Marc Rosset says Roger Federer is ‘a special case’ who should not receive criticism for his Roland Garros withdrawal.

Federer returned to Grand Slam action for the first time in over 470 days at the French Open, with him winning his three matches before withdrawing to try and manage his fitness.

That has drawn some criticism from some fans, many of whom have said it was disrespectful to the tournament to withdraw in such a manner without an injury.

Rosset, though, who knows Federer better than most, has defended the 20-time Grand Slam winner.

“You can’t accuse Roger of not having done much for tennis,” Rosset told Tages Anzeiger.

“And I think he always upholds fair play. Even in this situation. He could also have said he hurt his shoulder.

“So many players withdraw and invent some injury. Roger didn’t do that, he openly told it like it is.

“Of course, his forfeit is a shock for people, especially since it’s a Grand Slam. But when you come back after 15 months and 2 knee operations, at 39, it’s a special case.

“His first two matches are difficult to judge because Istomin and Cilic made life easy for Roger with their mistakes.

Roger Federer looks on French Open

“But against Koepfer it was a real battle. I thought Koepfer played brilliantly. The courage, the heart that Roger showed on the court, I really liked that.”

Federer will now turn his attention to Wimbledon and beyond, and Rosset says his gut feeling is that his compatriot is far from done with tennis.

“I think Roger can win another Grand Slam title if he feels good and is well prepared,” he said.

“If not in Wimbledon, then maybe somewhere else. Champions like him tick differently than we do. You can’t measure them by normal standards.

“I hope we will see him again in Australia. Of course, it’s crucial that he doesn’t have any setbacks physically and feels that he’s reaching a certain level.

“If that is the case, I see no reason why he should stop this year. He has invested so much to come back again.”

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