Published On: Sat, May 21st, 2016

Injured Federer pulls out of French Open

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Swiss Super star set to miss first Grand Slam in 17 years

In a testament to 17 time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer’s longevity, the Swiss super star has withdrawn his name from the year’s second Grand Slam- the French Open which is a first for Roger in the 21st century.

The 34-year-old did not play in the Madrid Open earlier this month after hurting his back during practice for the tournament.

Federer returned for the Italian Open but was beaten in the third round by Dominic Thiem. “I have been making steady progress, but I am still not 100%,” said the world number three. “I feel I might be taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event before I am really ready.

The former world number one, who has been plagued by knee and back injuries this year, last missed a Grand Slam event in 1999 when he skipped the US Open.

Federer, with his 35th birthday looming in August, has played only four tournaments this year.

After losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals, he underwent knee surgery in February — his first such operation — after injuring himself while giving his children a bath.
Despite Thursday’s decision, Federer insists he will keep playing and will concentrate on preparing for the grass court season and a fresh bid to win an eighth Wimbledon, the scene of his most recent Grand Slam triumph in 2012.

He also intends to compete at the Rio Olympics in August.

“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,” the Swiss veteran added in his statement.

“I remain as motivated and excited as ever and my plan is to achieve the highest level of fitness before returning to the ATP World Tour for the upcoming grass court season.

“I am sorry for my fans in Paris but I very much look forward to returning to Roland Garros in 2017.”

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