After several rumors about his doubt in playing at Roland Garros this year, Roger Federer has broken his notable record of participating in 65 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments as he announced on Thursday that he is withdrawing from the 2016 French Open.
The third ranked player made his official statement on his website and Facebook page, saying although he has been making progress with his overall fitness, he is still not in his 100% and would be at risk if he pushes through playing at the French Open.
Federer has struggled with his knee injury in February, but he was still able to play and reach the quarterfinals at the Monte Carlo open in early April. He has also a concern with his back which he says “just kept on lingering.” This same back pain also made him withdraw from the Madrid Open.
Roger Federer also mentioned that he made the decision not to play at the French Open so he could play at the remainder of the season, and plans to be in his best fit before he could return for the ATP World Tour for the grass court season.
Federer ended his statement by apologizing to his fans in Paris, but said that he will be looking forward to playing at the French Open 2017.
The last major tournament that Federer has missed was the 1999 U.S. Open where he was not able to qualify for the main draw.
Roger Federer has won one French Open title in 2009, when he faced Robin Söderling in the championship round.
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Roger Federer