Roger Federer has opted not to play in the highly anticipated French Open this year. His back injury, which nagged at him throughout his clay court games, seems to be the main culprit.
He announced his decision on his Facebook page saying, “I regret to announce that I have made the decision not to play in this year’s French Open. I have been making steady progress with my overall fitness, but I am still not 100% and feel I might be taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event before I am really ready.”
He adds that he is sorry to disappoint his fans in Paris. However, the 34-year-old Swiss will be back for the French Open next year.
Other than his back pain, The Guardian cites the keyhole surgery for his knee after the Australian Open last January and a virus that complicated Federer’s overall health. Citing full recovery as his main reason for not playing in Roland Garros, Federer hopes that this move will extend his career a bit longer.
He last played for the Rome Masters title against Dominic Thiem, finishing at the 15th spot. Before Rome, he was at the Monte Carlo Open. He reached the quarter finals before losing to Jo Wilfried-Tsonga.
Back at Monte Carlo, Federer has hinted that he may be headed towards the end of his career.
“I think it’s always the beginning of the end, surgery. I still believe that. If I can avoid it, I will always avoid it. Would I have surgery for fun? Not me, anyway. I don’t see one funny bit about it,” he mused to The Guardian.
Roger Federer started playing tennis professionally in 1998, and this year marks his 17th. However, it seems the world’s former number one is showing signs of slowing down. This year, he has only played in four events, BBC Sports notes. According to his Facebook announcement, he is keen to get back on the grass court. If his recovery is on track, fans will see him play again in Wimbledon later this year.