Tennis

Why Roger Federer pulled out of Italian Open just nine days before Roland Garros

Roger Federer has pulled out of the Italian Open because of injury.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was due to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals of the competition on Friday.

But Federer, who beat Joao Sousa and Borna Coric in his first two matches in Rome, has withdrawn from the event due to a right leg injury.

The injury represents a blow to Federer’s chances of winning the French Open, which starts at the end of the month.

Poor weather meant Federer, 37, was forced to play two Italian Open matches on Thursday and he is believed to have felt pain in his leg during his second match.

That did not prevent Federer from producing an impressive comeback to beat Coric in three sets, but he has now decided to play no further part in the tournament.

In a statement, the Italian Open said: ‘Roger Federer has just phoned the ATP supervisor and tournament director to announce his withdrawal due to a problem with his right leg.’

Federer now faces a race to regain his fitness ahead of Roland Garros, which starts on May 26. He won his solitary French Open title ten years ago.

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