Roger Federer says he will skip French Open

Roger Federer has decided to skip the French Open in order to preserve himself for the Wimbledon and rest of the hard court season.

Roger Federer made it clear that this move would increase his longevity.   -  AP

Roger Federer has decided to skip the French Open in order to preserve himself for the Wimbledon and rest of the hard court season.

On his official website, the Swiss ace said that it was a conscious decision to skip the clay court season this year and prepare for the grass and hard court seasons—the Wimbledon to be precise. “Regrettably, I’ve decided not to participate in the French Open. 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,” Federer wrote.

He also made it clear that this move would increase his longevity. “The start to the year has been magical for me but I need to recognise 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,” the 18-time Grand Slam champion said, adding that he will be back at the Roland Garros next year.

It’s the second year in a row that Federer pulled out the French Open. His absence a year ago, because of back and knee problems that plagued him in 2016, ended his record streak of appearing in 65 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments every one since the start of 2000.

The 35—year—old Federer has not played in a tournament since April 2, when he won his third title of 2017 at the Miami Open. That improved his record this year to 19—1, all on hard courts, his best start in more than a decade. At the time, he said he would be taking a break from the tour and did not commit to returning in time for the French Open.

Clay tends to be the most physically demanding of tennis’ surfaces, requiring plenty of tricky movement and sliding, along with lengthy, grind—it—out points.

Federer missed the last half of 2016, including the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the U.S. Open, because of his surgically repaired left knee.

The next major tournament is Wimbledon, which begins July 3. Federer has won a record—tying seven titles at the All England Club.

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