Tennis

Andy Murray defends Roger Federer’s quit decision

Former world No. 1 Andy Murray said 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer made a "sensible decision" to withdraw from the French Open to protect his body after two knee operations and focus on Wimbledon.

Federer, 39, decided to end his Roland Garros campaign on Sunday, a day after winning a gruelling third-round match against Dominik Koepfer.

Eight-time Wimbledon winner Federer, who has hardly played in the last 17 months due to a knee injury, had been due to face ninth seed Matteo Berrettini in the fourth round.

Replying to a tweet from a user who said Federer was "disrespectful" to other players for "using" the French Open to gain fitness, Murray argued that tennis players returning from injury are at a disadvantage.

"In basketball, football etc when returning from injury, players are given reduced minutes to build up their fitness," he tweeted.

"In tennis, you don't have that luxury of just playing a set in first match then 2 sets the next etc and building up that way."

Federer's decision sparked mixed reactions. Seven-time French Open winner Chris Evert said the Swiss had earned the right to do so, while former US great Patrick McEnroe said it was not a good look. - REUTERS

Tennis