On Thursday, Roger Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the semi-finals of the Australian Open 2020. Speaking after the game, the Swiss legend admitted that he had considered retiring from the match on numerous occasions.
In case you did not know, Federer had suffered from groin and lower back injury as he played through the Australian Open 2020 quarter-finals clash against Tennys Sandgren. He then opted to skip practice on Wednesday, in a bid to recover as quickly as possible ahead of the matchup against Djokovic.
Ahead of the match, rumours had it that the former World No.1 might withdraw from the match even before it started, but that did not happen.
And later, while speaking to reporters after his Australian Open exit, Federer revealed that the first retirement of his career was a possibility during the game.
“Today was horrible, to go through what I did,” he said, before adding:
“Nice entrance, nice send-off, and in between is one to forget because you know you have a 3 per cent chance to win. You know, got to go for it. You never know. But once you can see it coming, that it’s not going to work anymore, it’s tough.”
“I’ve been there before. I’ve had a few matches throughout my career where I’ve felt that way. It also happened the same way. Better that than zero, I tell you that.”
“I (always) thought I was going to make it, to be honest,” he said.
“I went for a scan that night and was alright and after that, we didn’t push it. I didn’t practice, we took a day off the next day and today I really rested it to as late as possible.”
Federer, however, did call a medical timeout at the end of the first set but played down the extent of the problem at the time.
“The timeout today was just one of the things that need to be done to prevent any further problems, and once I was back in the match I felt I was probably going to able to finish which was a good thing. It’s frustrating, but I don’t think I would have gone on the court if I felt I had no chance to win. I still was able to make a match out of it. I did believe there was something that could be done today,” the 38-year-old explained, before concluding:
“The injury was probably not going to get worse, and if it did this would have been my first retirement today. We did talk about it with the team but it never went there which is good – you’re playing carefully, obviously.”