Roger Federer to miss French Open

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Eighteen-time major winner Roger Federer has declared that he will not compete in the French Open and the rest of the clay-court season.

The 35-year-old, fifth in the world rankings, says he made the decision in an attempt to continue playing on the ATP Tour “for many years to come”.

The Swiss added he will now prepare for the grass and hard-court seasons, which begin in June.

“I need to recognise that scheduling will be the key to my longevity,” he said.

“Thus, my team and I concluded 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 missed last year’s French Open through injury – the first time he did not compete in Paris since his debut in 1999.

He won the tournament just once, in 2009 and is a four-time runner-up.

Federer has won three titles so far this season, notably the Australian Open – his first Grand Slam success in five years.

He also claimed the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March and, two weeks later, won the Miami Open.

The French Open begins on 28 May.

Former Olympic champion Marc Rosset backed his compatriot, saying it was a matter of Federer prioritising tournaments he can win.

“The chances of him winning on clay at the French Open were quite low,” Rosset told the BBC’s World Service.

“Roger is the kind of guy who goes to a tournament to win. If he doesn’t feel he is capable of winning the tournament, I don’t see any sense in him attending.

“I don’t think it is a matter of age, it is one of priority. He is going to play the two tournaments on grass before Wimbledon.”

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