Roger Federer’s voluntary withdrawal made waves. One question fell by the wayside: What does his departure mean for the competition – does the Swiss have a decisive influence on the outcome of the tournament?
On Monday afternoon, Novak Djokovic was on the pitch for over three hours and after two lost sets (both going over the tie-break), he was still fighting his way to the quarter-finals. The fact that opponent Lorenzo Musetti gives up in the fifth set at 0: 4 does not matter – at this point the resistance has long been broken. From the third set on, the world number 1 only loses one game. And yet it is an exhausting match.
Matteo Berrettini, on the other hand, can recharge his batteries on Monday as his game against Roger Federer does not take place. The Italian is enjoying four days off to prepare for his quarter-final against Djokovic. He won’t be able to complain about fresh legs in the game against the Serbian. Should Berrettini leave the field as the winner against Djokovic, the topic will certainly be hotly debated – it will have a pale aftertaste.
After Federer’s withdrawal
Does the rested Berrettini have an advantage against Djokovic?
Does tennis need a new rule?
Does it perhaps even need a rule adjustment so that a similar scenario does not repeat itself in the future? It would be conceivable, for example, that in such a case, the loser could play. At the beginning of the tournament it is not uncommon for a “lucky loser” to follow suit, for example if someone withdraws at short notice due to an injury.
The 18-time Grand Slam winner Chris Evert understands Federer’s decision and defends it on Twitter in several posts. A rule adjustment, so that in the specific case Dominik Koepfer could have moved up, would, however, find “an interesting idea”.
But how would that be received by the fans and players? Imagine if Federer loses the semifinals against Nadal at Wimbledon. The next day, the Spaniard tearfully announced that he would not be able to compete in the final – the pain in his knee would not allow it. Federer moves up and wrestles Djokovic in a dramatic five-movement. So two days after his departure, the Swiss actually lifted the trophy. Triumphant «losers», a scenario that still takes some getting used to.
What is your opinion on Roger Federer’s forfait at the French Open?