Roger Federer calls for change in rules over pullouts

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Czech Republic's Adam Pavlasek during their Men's Singles Match on day four at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Thursday

But what caused a stir was that two of the retirements came on Centre Court, where Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer advanced past Martin Klizan and Alexandr Dolgopolov, respectively, in a combined 83 minutes.

Then alarm bells rang as Dolgopolov sought medical advice during the change-over, and although he continued briefly, with Federer leading by a set and 3-0, the Ukrainian walked to the net to retire. It is thought his ankle gave up on him.

Novak Djokovic's first-round match at Wimbledon lasted all of 40 minutes Tuesday.

"He had issues walking on to court".

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov makes a return to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus during their Men's Singles Match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Thursday

"I think the new rule that the ATP has reinforced allows players who have made it to the Grand Slam main draw to get what they deserve, but at the other hand allow someone else to play if they can", Djokovic said, according to the BBC. "One alternative might be to offer compensation for travel expenses incurred by players who travel to an event in good faith, only to pick up or aggravate an injury before they are due to go on court". In this sport there's so much weight behind it and significance about it. "They've earned the right to be out there at Wimbledon, to take that money, to help them for future tournaments, if they're not injured".

"There are guys waiting in there, the lucky loser will be looking. and thinking he could have played on Centre Court at Wimbledon".

Others were less understanding, John McEnroe was predictably the most vocal television critic.

"If it's excruciating pain, okay, you can't play", said Isner who famously played an 11-hour match spread over three days to beat Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon seven years ago.

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Having unexpectedly won the Australian Open in January before taking the clay-court season off to rest, Federer, making a record-equalling 70th Grand Slam appearance, is the favorite to take the Wimbledon crown for the first time since 2012.

Federer: "When you're down a set and a break... if you feel like [the pain] is getting worse and you can hurt yourself even further, it is better to stop". It was a decent practice session. The Greek player, Stefanos Tsitsipas however, provided little in the way of opposition despite his best efforts. Dolgopolov is someone capable of great shots and, occasionally, a stunning result; Federer's greatness resides in not only his longevity and 18 slams, but his unwavering faith in his own genius.

"It's always going to be rough playing Rafa". He called the trainer after the set, pulled out at 3-0, the same thing.

"A player should not go on court if he knows he should not finish", Federer said. They're there to watch good tennis. Proper tennis. At least they see the two of us, who gave it all they had. So they play, even if they know they are not at 100%. "Especially if you walk out on the Centre Court, there is a responsibility", he added.

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He was 6-3, 3-0 up at the finish; along the way he became the third player in the game to hit 10,000 aces in his career, at 4-3 in the first set.

"It is also hugely expensive and the first round prize money cheque at Wimbledon can virtually pay half of even more of the salary for a coach".

While some of the men who retired came in with pre-existing injuries, 16-year-old qualifier Anastasia Potapova suffered a awful fall mid-match.

But that was merely the hors d'oeuvres to an extraordinary post-match press conference, in which Tomic conceded that he was disillusioned with tennis, no longer cares whether he does well in grand slams, and didn't appear inclined to put the work in to make the most of his talent.

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"When I went out, I felt it was a let-down for the crowd". It's tough, you know. I have been around and feels like I'm super old, but I'm not. "I tried to find a bit of momentum but I couldn't find any rhythm". Wimbledon officials can fine players £15,500 if they suspect them of "unsportsmanlike" behaviour.

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