18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has called for change in rules in-order to discourage injured players showing up and pulling out.
Federer reached the Wimbledon second round when Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine quit when trailing 6-3, 3-0 after just 43 minutes, complaining of an ankle injury on a day dominated by controversial and wildly unpopular injury retirements.
Earlier, world number two Novak Djokovic booked his second round spot when his opponent Martin Klizan, suffering from a calf injury, retired at 6-3, 2-0 down.
So far, seven men have retired from the first round.
The Swiss maestro was bitterly frustrated to advance to the next round in those circumstances, especially as his match immediately followed precisely the same thing happening with two other players.
“When I went out, I felt it was a let-down for the crowd. They could not believe that it happened again, exactly the same situation. He called the trainer after the set, pulled out at 3-0, the same thing. I feel for the crowd, they are there to watch good tennis, proper tennis. At least they saw the two of us who gave it all they had,” The Independent quoted Federer as saying after the match.
When Dolgopolov retired, he told Federer that he felt “too much pain” while serving.
However, the 35-year-old suggested that players, who were not going to be able to complete their matches, should not start them.
“If you feel like it is getting worse and you can hurt yourself further, it is better to stop,” Federer said.
“The question always is: should they have started the match at all? Only the player can answer really. You hope they would give up their spot for somebody else if fitness is not allowing them,” he added.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion further said that the Grand Slams should change the rules.
“A player should not go on court if he knows he should finish,” he said.
“In the process, maybe the slams should have a look at what they could do for the players to make it just a little bit easier,” he added.