Federer will skip the French Open, starting later this month, as a way of preserving his body to prepare for future matches at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and others. Here’s the full statement:
“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 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.”
Federer owns 18 Grand Slam titles, but the French Open is by far the weakest of the four major tournaments for him. He has one victory and four runner-up finishes in 17 appearances at Roland Garros. By comparison, he has five wins apiece at the U.S. and Australian Opens, and seven victories at Wimbledon. Federer’s surprise victory at the Australian Open earlier this year was his first Grand Slam victory since Wimbledon in 2012.