The 39-year-old was involved in a heated rally with the chair umpire after being given a time violation for taking too long between points.
This sparked a long conversation with the referee with Federer clearly confused by the situation. He was then seen questioning Cilic as he stood at the net.
“I didn’t feel like I was playing particularly slowly […] I always feel like I’m not keeping my opponent waiting too long, but clearly Marin wanted to go faster. Now I didn’t realize it, “Federer said, downplaying the incident.
“I just feel like it was a misunderstanding on many levels. I didn’t get it or understand it, and I guess I’m just new to the new tour.”
“It was quite interesting going through that. I put a little energy into the game, which I liked.”
The heated debate did not prevent Federer from qualifying for the third round at Roland Garros, eventually beating Cilic 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2.
The Swiss only recently returned from serious knee surgery last year and has only played three times in the past 17 months.
Ahead of the major clay court tournament, Federer downplayed his chances of winning the grand slam, but will face Germany’s Dominik Koepfer, 59th, in the next round.
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