Roger Federer withdraws from the French Open

Roger Federer will skip the French Open for the first time since 2009.
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Roger Federer has withdrawn from the French Open, he announced.

"Dear Fans,

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."

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Federer missed six months of last season due to a knee injury. He won the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami Open to begin the year. The 18-time Grand Slam champion then announced that he needed a rest period.

Federer has climbed to No. 4 in the world rankings.