Roger Federer has withdrawn from the French Open, he announced Thursday.
In his announcement, posted to his Facebook page, Federer cited his health, saying that he felt he would be “taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event” before he is ready. Federer, 34, also said that he planned to return to Roland Garros next year.
Federerwithdrew from the Madrid Masters earlier this month with a back injury before losing in the third round of the Rome Masters. He also withdrew from the Miami Open in March due to a stomach virus, and missed the Rotterdam Open, the Dubai Championships and the Indian Wells Masters due to a knee injury.
Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2016 Australian Open semifinals. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in February, and was set to return in Miami before the virus.
Federer, currently ranked No. 3, won the French Open in 2009. Last year, he fell in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka.
He had played in 65 straight Grand Slam tournaments. Previously, the 1999 U.S. Open was the last Slam in which Federer had not participated.
The 17–time Grand Slam champion's full statement is below:
Federer's withdrawal means that nine–time French Open champion Rafael Nadal will move up to the No. 4 seed, meaning the Spaniard will avoid playing Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka until the semifinals.