Sporting Life

Federer smartly exits clay in search of greener pastures

Roger Federer in Paris was too good for his own good. Just out of the sickbay for sporting geriatrics, two months from 40, the Switzerland Tourism ambassador probably saw Paris as just a fleeting visit. He'd played only three matches since the Australian Open in January 2020 and lasting even two matches on a long-rally surface with a repaired body would have been a feat.

But Federer's maths was wrong and his pride too strong. His competitive instinct flared and his big-point sensors flickered on. Three matches, 11 sets, 708 points and 463 minutes later, an ostensible warm-up had become too hot to handle even for him. To stay on was polite, to play on for an ageing athlete was physically risky.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2021, with the headline 'Federer smartly exits clay in search of greener pastures'. Subscribe