Federer pulled out of the French Open on Sunday, a day after winning his third-round match against Dominik Koepfer. The 39-year-old, after withdrawing, explained he needed to protect his body ahead of the grasscourt season.
Federer was criticized by a section of the tennis community who suggested that the World No. 8 had acted disrespectfully towards the tournament.
But Gustavo Kuerten, a three-time champion in Paris, believes Roger Federer was right to pull out and that the decision would benefit his career in the long run.
"It was a very wise decision by Federer," said Kuerten. "His decision is tough. For the people who are following the tournament, for him as well. He is there to play, and not just to walk around. He likes to compete, it's a Grand Slam. He understands very clearly how far he can go so as not to damage his career and give everyone a return in the long run."
Kuerten acknowledged that Roger Federer's best shot at winning another Major is at Wimbledon. The Brazilian said he hopes to see Federer lift a ninth Wimbledon title as he does not want the Swiss' heart-breaking loss to Novak Djokovic in the 2019 final to be his last significant moment at a Slam.
"Federer's biggest chance is at Wimbledon, we're hoping that he can achieve the big dream," Kuerten said. "Maybe one or two more Wimbledons with real chances.
"Federer was one point away from winning two years ago, the title was his, but he lost the hard way, it would be too sad to be this is the last big moment of his career in a Slam. I really hope he has a spectacular Wimbledon and wins the tournament, it would be great."
If Roger Federer realizes he has no chance of winning a Slam, he will stop: Gustavo Kuerten
Gustavo Kuerten also claimed that Federer will likely retire the day he stops believing he can win another Grand Slam. The 44-year-old declared that he would like to see the Swiss end his career on a high like Pete Sampras did after winning his 14th and final Major at the US Open in 2002.
"They (Big 3) have dreams and goals to reach," Kuerten said. "If he realizes that he has no chance of winning a Grand Slam anymore, he's going to stop. Now if he does like Sampras, who after winning, decided to stop, it would be excellent. All that's left is to say thank you. These guys are formidable, I just hope they keep playing tennis."