Roger Federer has announced that he will miss Roland Garros this year. Although he did not specify what the injury was, he withdrew from the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Madrid with a back injury. He then played the following week at the ATP World Masters 1000 event in Rome, where he lost in the third round to Dominic Thiem. Federer also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery shortly after the Australian Open to repair a torn meniscus.
“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,” said Federer in an announcement posted to his Facebook page. “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 World No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings added that he remains “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.”
Federer owns the Open Era record with 65 straight appearances in Grand Slam main draws. His streak stretches to 69 straight appearances including qualifying and 73 including the juniors. The last major that Federer did not appear at was the 1999 US Open.
The 34-year-old Federer had trained with his coach, Ivan Ljubicic, at Roland Garros for 20 minutes on Wednesday afternoon. He will be replaced by a lucky loser to be determined from the qualifying draw.