Andy Murray paid tribute to an ‘inspirational’ Roger Federer performance at the French Open, as the 20-time Grand Slam champion progressed to the fourth round following a late-night win over German Dominik Koepfer on Saturday.
Federer battled to a 7-6 (5) 6-7 (3) 7-6 (4) 7-5 victory at an empty Rolland Garros, eventually winning the match after midnight in Paris.
The 39-year-old was playing in what was only his sixth match since undergoing double knee surgery last year, and has indicated that he may have to pull out of the tournament in order to rest ahead of Wimbledon in June.
Murray, who has also experienced his share of injury problems in recent years after undergoing hip resurfacing surgeries, praised Federer’s resilience after the Swiss came through the contest after three-and-a-half hours.
“I’m not bothered by the outcome of this match at all,” Murray tweeted. “Just seeing Federer at 39 off the back of 2 knee surgeries playing to an empty stadium at 12.30am getting fired up is inspirational to me.
“Do what you [love].”
Federer responded to Murray’s tweet, saying: “Thank you Sir Andy, the feeling is mutual. You gotta love it. See you on the [grass].”
Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray is hoping to make a return to Queens and Wimbledon this month, but was forced to withdraw from an event in Nottingham earlier this week due to an ongoing groin issue.
Federer is set to play Matteo Berrettini in the fourth round on Monday and will make a decision on whether to carry on at the tournament later today.
“We go through these matches, we analyse them highly and look on what’s next,” Federer said.
“We will do the same here on Sunday, because I need to decide if I keep on playing or not. Is it not too much risk at this moment to keep on pushing or is this just a perfect way to just take a rest?”