18-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer has announced that he will be skipping this year’s French Open in order focus on grass and hardcourt this year.
The 35-year-old made a stunning comeback after missing a majority of 2016 due to injury by winning the Australian Open earlier this year, beating arch rival Rafael Nadal in the final.
Here is the full statement from his website:
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.
This will be the first time in Federer’s illustrious career that he will not play a tour event on clay. While the Swiss has managed to win the other Grand Slams multiple times, he has only managed to win at Roland Garros once, back in 2009.