Roger Federer Won’t Play The French Open (Again)

by Staff | May 15th, 2017, 3:42 pm

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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23 Comments for Roger Federer Won’t Play The French Open (Again)

Daniel Says:

Agree with last sentence, Fed will probably play one more French Open before he retires when on his farewell tour for a proper goodbye to RG.

Next year, assiming he won’t have the same success he had this year and with more time since his knee surgery he can play it again.

skeezer Says:

Yay! Best news ever and a smart move. Wimbledon & Hard Courts here we come. Should be an exciting summer, Fed will be ready.

Humble Rafa Says:

A grandslam tournament needs to be treated with respect, not scorn.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Very upset to hear this news! In general, I thought Fed should stick with winning streak. But, I’m sure they know what they’re doing, and hearing them speak of years to come is pretty encouraging.

I hope Fed returns at the level he left.

Old School Says:

DT proved in Madrid he’s closing the gap. With RF out maybe the kid gets RN in the semis of final. Someone else has to get hot and challenge Nadal, maybe Stan

Miles Says:

Oldschool – if DT plays Rafa on cly, Rafa will win 19 times out of 20 imo. DT doesn’t play the big points intelligently or aggressively enough – it’s hard to see him as a top 4 player until he develops better matchplay nous.

I suppose, when the current dominant 4 eventually retire/decline, DT might get there by a process of being the one of the best of the rest, but Krygios and Zverev look to be more exciting players atm.

Federer is very wise to skip this event – I read a comment earlier this year from Murray in which he stated that clay was the toughest surface on his back. Federer has had on-and-off back issues for years, so why risk it? He has better prospects (fitness permitting) at Wimbledon, the USO and the O2.

Lylenubbins Says:

@ Miles, DT brought it at Madrid, match could easily have gone the other way. He’s definitely a contender for RG

Tennis Vagabond Says:

No. Match could NOT easily have gone the other way. Rafa was clearly in control. They will get each other again in the QFs and I think the rest will look much like the last two.

Miles Says:

I agree with TV – I never Rafa was in any danger of losing that match.

Over 5 sets though? Mmm. Rafa looks a little tired (unsurprisingly in view of his great start to the year).

Miles Says:

I never thought Rafa was in any danger of losing that match.

SG1 Says:

Agree with the idea that Fed will play at least one more year as I’m sure he’ll want to say his goodbyes to the French fans.

I’d normally be worried about someone being away from real match play for months but this is Federer. When he’s fresh mentally and physically healthy, who truly knows what he’s capable of? He rolled out his sort of new “hit it really early backhand” in Australia. Wonder what new tricks he has up his sleeve for the rest of the year.

I’m thinking that he’s thinking that there’s an outside shot at finishing the year with 20 slams. Would be cool if Rafa won his 10th FO and Federer hit 20 majors. Talk about re-setting the bars for greatness. I have a feeling that by the time the USO rolls around, Fed and Rafa will be #1 and #2 again.

SG1 Says:

Murray will be the defending champ going into Wimbledon. I wonder if he can right the ship by then.

skeezer Says:

“So obvious! Lol”
As obvious as Rafa pulling a injury after FO and mussing Wimby. LMAO.

the_mind_reels Says:

@ Humble Rafa: yea, just like those multiple times Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon to recover from his injuries.

Federer is in uncharted territory as a 35-year old in the modern game winning grand slams and back in the top of the pack. There is no precedent against which to compare what he decides to do or not do to stay fit and be competitive. So, the only thing the tennis world can do is assume he knows what’s best for his schedule and, if they so choose, enjoy watching him compete when he’s able to.

I’m bummed that he won’t compete at Roland Garros, but I look forward to seeing him tear it up on the grass in a few weeks’ time!

chrisford1 Says:

Clearly, the “mind reels” has forgotten or never heard of Ken Rosewall. Made the Finals at Wimbledon, USO at 39 back in the beginning of the Open Era. Lost both finals to Jimmy Connors. Who himself had some incredible performances age 30-39.
A cautionary note: Connors has had multiple spine, hip surgeries and throw in a wrist, a shoulder, and a knee. Doctors and Connors agree the chronic injuries to joints was from paying tennis to long and too hard as he aged.
But Rosewall is doing fine.
So with Federer or maybe Djokovic if he finds his tennis heart again and purges his Pepe heart…..who knows. They could be healthy and escape chronic injury. Or not.

madmax Says:

Skeezer, I hear you…even Nadal agrees with Roger’s decision. We all knew deep down he would not play, I had hoped…more than anything, just to see him play, but a wise move. A very wise move.

I see childs is at it again. Still waiting Giles for your supporting argument about Rafa winning three tournaments. You really do have a limited argument when put to proof, eh? No courage. You just attack and then whimper when you are caught out.

Federer announced his decision to not play in French Open and sit out the rest of the clay-court season on Monday (15 May) in order to help prolong his playing career, and Nadal, who has been in fine form so far this season, cannot fault the Swiss’s decision.


“If he doesn’t play one tournament before the French [Open], it’s normal that he finally skip the French, no?” Nadal was quoted as saying by The Times of India. “Probably he had that decision before. Probably he didn’t want to announce before.

“But thinking in a logical way, it would be strange if you don’t play on clay in one event and then you start on the biggest one, playing best of five.”

Giles, you need to get to the facts, rather than the thwarted ‘maybe’s’ and bias you rely on.


James Says:

Rosewall comparisons are so meaningless – they barely played on hard courts, mostly grass and some clay, game was SO MUCH slower with wooden rackets and different balls. The physicality of the game today is tons more than what Rosewall faced.

Nadal should do what Fed does – skip chunks of the hard court season to preserve his knees. Take a few months off after Wimbledon. Come back refreshed and healthy. He is also 31, not young any more.

If Fed plays the restricted schedule of 10 tournaments or so per year – AUS, dubai, IW, then Stuttgart, Halle, Wimbledon, then Cincy, USO, then Basel and hopefully YEC, he can maintain his body for several more years, yet giving himself the chance to win more titles at his favorite tournaments (has won each one 5 or more times, except Stuttgart which is a recent addition to the grass tour).

Very smart scheduling from Fed.

the_mind_reels Says:

@chrisford1: I was clear in my comment that I was referring only to the modern game. Ken Rosewall won his last major I think 45 years ago.

gonzalowski Says:

Roger didn’t announce it before to put pressure on Nadal in Madrid, for the topic of the points. Now the manacorĂ­ should return the favor by playing Wimbledon, and so at the draw Federer be the 5th, with all that implies.

gonzalowski Says:

Fed, ‘Epitome of sportmanship’

skeezer Says:

“Roger didn’t announce it before to put pressure on Nadal in Madrid..”
And how do you know this for a fact? Fed gave a shout out early on that FO was questionable for him:

gonzalowski Says:

Skkezer only an opinion. It bothers to me they think that Federer is a good person, not like Nadal the cheat and tricky.
Nadal at the Press, always polite, yesterday: “Everyone knows better than anyone how they feel. He had probably already made the decision before and had not announced “

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