‘What a disgrace’: Outrage over shock Roger Federer announcement



John and Patrick McEnroe have led the angry backlash against Roger Federer after the Swiss legend announced his shock withdrawal from the French Open on Sunday.



Federer has left the tennis world stunned after pulling out of the clay-court grand slam a day after winning a tough third-round match.



The Swiss legend, who turns 40 in August, said he wants to save his body for the grass-court season and a shot at a 21st grand slam title at Wimbledon.



“After discussions with my team, I decided that I should withdraw from the French Open today,” Federer said in a statement released by the French Tennis Federation on Sunday.



“After two knee operations and more than a year of rehabilitation, it’s important that I listen to my body and not rush back into competition.”

However the decision has not gone down well in the tennis world, with American greats John and Patrick McEnroe criticising Federer’s move.

“I understand it, but I don’t like it. It’s just not a great look to pull out of a tournament in the middle,” Patrick McEnroe told the New York Times.

“It’s one thing if you sprain an ankle badly and finish a match on adrenaline. Those things happen. But it’s another thing when you kind of go into a tournament knowing that you probably aren’t going to be able to really finish the tournament.

“Roger can’t expect that he’s going to play the French Open and not have some physically demanding matches in the first three or four rounds. That’s kind of inevitable.

“Look, he’s trying to get himself ready to make a run at Wimbledon, which I believe he’s done. And a lot of people say he’s Roger Federer. He can do whatever he wants. He’s earned this right, and I understand that, but I still don’t like it.”

John McEnroe was also gobsmacked, telling NBC: “Perhaps Roger might have done the magnanimous thing and defaulted match point up (against Koepfer) … but that’s easy for me to say from Malibu.”


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