London, June 30 (MNN) Roger Federer survived a scare at the start of his quest for a ninth title at Wimbledon before rival Frenchman Adrian Mannarino retired at the start of the fifth set, unable to put any weight on his right leg following a slip behind the baseline.
Federer was level with Mannarino, who was celebrating his 33rd birthday, at 6-4, 6-7(3), 3-6, 6-2 after two hours and 44 minutes of play on the Centre Court on Tuesday when the Frenchman called it quits.
At 2-4 in the fourth set, with Federer serving at 0/15, Mannarino had earlier slipped when split-stepping behind the baseline and required on-court treatment for a right knee complaint. Mannarino attempted to play on, but at the start of the fifth set called time on his seventh ATP Head2Head meeting against Federer.
“It’s awful,” said Federer, in an on-court interview.
“It shows that one shot can change the outcome of a match, a season, a career. I wish him all the best and I hope he recovers quickly so we see him back on the courts. He could have won the match at the end. Obviously he was the better player, so I definitely got a bit lucky.
“You don’t get many walkovers throughout a career and you also try not to have it happen to yourself. It’s a reminder how quickly it goes. But of course, I’m obviously happy I can get another chance for another match here. I worked very hard and at the end I enjoyed myself out here today. It was great fun until the end, obviously.”