Swiss tennis great, Roger Federer has pulled out of this month’s French Open, taking place between 28 May and 11 June.
The 18 times Grand Slam winner made the announcement on his Facebook page today, meaning he will be missing the French Grand Slam for the second year. He missed it last year as a result of injury.
He said he wanted to avoid playing on clay this season in order to prolong his career.
The Swiss had defied logic to win the Australian Open in January after being out of tennis for six months.
“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 claycourt season this year and prepare for the grass and hardcourt seasons,” world number five Federer, who won his sole Roland Garros title in 2009, said on his Facebook page.
“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.”
Federer, 35, has already won the three biggest titles of the year to date as he followed his triumph in Australia with wins at Indian Wells and the Miami Open.
After that stunning run, Federer, who missed the second half of last year recovering from knee surgery, said that he would likely skip the European claycourt season except for the French Open.
The former world number one’s announcement came a day after Rafael Nadal won his third consecutive claycourt title of the season ahead of the French Open, where the Spaniard will be bidding for his 10th Roland Garros title.
Federer will now focus on being in top form for Wimbledon, which begins on July 3 and where he is a seven-times champion.