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Andy Murray backs Roger Federer's decision to withdraw from RG, Daniil Medvedev says he "doesn't see why" Federer should be criticized

Andy Murray (L) and Roger Federer
Andy Murray (L) and Roger Federer
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST

Andy Murray and Daniil Medvedev were recently asked to weigh in on Roger Federer's controversial decision to pull out of the French Open.

The 20-time Major champion withdrew a day after his grueling third-round encounter against Dominik Koepfer, which ran for over three-and-a-half hours. Roger Federer cited the need to take care of his body ahead of the grasscourt season as the reason for his withdrawal.

Federer's announcement evoked a mixed response from the tennis community, with some backing the Swiss' decision and others slamming him for withdrawing after the match against Koepfer and not before, which would have allowed the German to progress to the last-16.

Replying to a fan who called Roger Federer's move "distasteful," Murray asserted that it would've been "quite risky" for the Swiss to play multiple long matches on the red dirt given the fact that he was coming from a year-long layoff.

"I'd argue that it’s quite risky to play multiple 4hr matches in a row in your 2nd tournaments back in 18 months so to me it makes sense to be reactive based on how your body feels, length of matches etc. Sensible decision from him," Andy Murray tweeted.

Murray also said in a subsequent tweet that in sports like football and basketball players "are given reduced minutes to build up their fitness", which is not the case in tennis.

"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," Murray wrote.

"That's how tennis is" - Daniil Medvedev on Roger Federer's decision to withdraw from RG

Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer
Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer

Daniil Medvedev insisted he would not criticize Roger Federer for choosing to safeguard his health, although he admitted he understood where the Swiss' detractors were coming from.

"I think it's a tough topic because, yeah, it's always a question where straight after the match he says he is probably going to retire," Daniil Medvedev told a news conference.
"Koepfer is there, losing a tight match, maybe saying, 'Well, I could have done better maybe after. At the same time tennis is brutal. If Koepfer wants to be in the next round, sorry, he needed to beat Roger. It doesn't matter if he retires after. That's how tennis is, to be in the next round, you need to beat your opponent.
"I think all together, I don't see why he (Roger Federer) should be criticized. At the same time, I understand people who do it. Me, I won't criticize them.

Medvedev remarked that it is common knowledge Roger Federer's main priority is Wimbledon, where he has triumphed a record eight times. The Russian also backed the Swiss maestro to have a chance of winning the coveted title even at the age of 50.

"We all know that a Grand Slam is still a goal for him. I think Wimbledon always is even when he will be 50 years old," said Medvedev. "It's a great chance for him. He wants to do his best to prepare."

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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