For the second straight year Roger Federer will skip the French Open. Federer, who missed last year’s event due to a back injury, opted not to play any clay warm-up events and today decided to pass up on the second Slam of the season.
“Regrettably, I’ve decided not to participate in the French Open,” Federer said in a statement. “I’ve been working really hard, both on and off the court, during the last month but in order to try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come, I feel it’s best to skip the clay court season this year and prepare for the grass and hard court seasons.
“The start to the year has been magical for me but I need to recognize that scheduling will be the key to my longevity moving forward. Thus, my team and I concluded today that playing just one event on clay was not in the best interest of my tennis and physical preparation for the remainder of the season.
“I will miss the French fans, who have always been so supportive and I look forward to seeing them at Roland Garros next year.”
By skipping the French, Federer will continue to lose ground in the ATP rankings race and he’ll miss a chance at a second Roland Garros title and with it a second Career Slam.
Federer has said that playing on clay does pose an additional threat to his surgically repaired knee.
“Part of the situation was that my knee was really strange on the clay last year, so maybe being away from the clay as much as possible maybe is a good thing as well,” Federer said after winning Miami.
Federer’s withdrawal also means neither Australian Open champion – male or female (Serena) – will be in Paris. And at 35, one has to wonder if Federer will ever play the French again?
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