In the seventh game of the fourth set, Frenchman Mannarino slipped and his right knee flexed. He was given pain medication, according to the Wimbledon website, but continued to play before dropping a point in the fifth set with a score of 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 3-6 6-2.
“It shows that a blow can change the outcome of a game, a season, a career, so I wish him all the best,” added Federer.
“I hope he recovers quickly so that we can see him on the courts again because, look, he could have won the game at the end. He was the better player. I was really lucky but who cares – I wish him all the best. “
The last time Federer lost in the Grand Slam first round was at Wimbledon 19 years ago.
However, the 39-year-old Swiss star had only made nine appearances in 2021 before Tuesday and that rust manifested itself when Federer netted 45 unforced errors.
“I tried to reduce the number of points a bit,” said Federer. “I thought he had found a good groove from the baseline. He’s famous for his backhand in spades – he creates a lot of problems for so many players and he did the same today on the grass against me.
“I felt I had to adjust my game more than he did – and that was to his credit, of course.”
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