Roger Federer will go two Slams short this year as the Swiss Maestro withdraws from the French Open.
Federer had not played in the Madrid Open earlier this month after hurting his back during practice for the tournament. He returned for the Italian Open but was promptly beaten in the third round by Dominic Thiem.
The first signs of trouble for Federer came after the Australian Open in January, as Federer underwent a surgery after he tore a knee cartilage when he ran a bath for his twin daughters.
He had suffered further injury bouts since then. So far, Federer could only attend 4 events this year as he got infected by a bout of flu and suffered a back injury.
The Swiss practiced in Roland Garros, but the persisting back injury had apparent repercussions on his preparations for the Open event, as well as the remaining two Grand Slams in 2016 and the Olympics.
“I have been making steady progress, but I am still not 100%,” the former world number one had said.
“I feel I might be taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event before I am really ready,” he added. “This decision was not easy to make, but I took it to ensure I could play the remainder of the season and help to extend the rest of my career.”
This will be the first time in this century that Roger Federer misses a Grand Slam event, but it is certain that many will take this as an inevitable sign of the 34-year-old’s eventual decline as time passes him by.
The last time Federer did not take part in a Grand Slam singles main draw was back in ugust 1999, when he lost in the second round of the qualifying tournament at the United States Open to a fellow Swiss, Ivo Heuberger.
Since then, Federer had played a record 65 straight Grand Slam singles tournaments, winning a record of 17 Grand Slam titles and firmly establishing himself as the most successful men’s player of the Open era.