Eighteen-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer will sit out the French Open and the rest of the clay-court season in favour of the ensuing grass court season.
Federer, 35, fifth in the world rankings, confirmed on Monday that he will not play at Roland Garros this month and instead prepare to play on grass and hard courts later this season, posting a message on his website titled: “Roger to skip Roland Garros.”
The full statement read: “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.”
“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.”
This will be the the second time Federer will not be competing in the Roland Garros event since his debut in 1999, after missing last year’s French Open through injury. He had won the title once in 2009 and has been a four-time runner-up .
This season, the Swiss Maestro has already won three titles: the Australian Open — his first Grand Slam success in five years — and the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March and, two weeks later, won the Miami Open.
It is clear that he has his sights on Wimbledon — the third major of the year — having won the tournament seven times.