Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA'S RAMAPHOSA HAILS 'NEW DAWN' IN STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A controversial Chinese New Year

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New Beginning? Ramaphosa Replaces Zuma in South Africa

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

On the green slopes: An eco-friendly revolution in French ski resorts?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Élysée palace, France's presidential powerhouse

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

Read more

FOCUS

The revival of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Girls in Malawi victims of 'sexual cleansing' ritual

Read more

REVISITED

Video: How the 2014 Winter Olympics transformed Sochi

Read more

Sports

Roger Federer pulls out of French Open

© Tiziana Fabi / AFP | Roger Federer wipes his face during his match against Dominic Thiem of Austria during the ATP Tennis Open in Rome on May 12, 2016.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-05-19

Former champion Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open on Thursday, citing fitness issues, as his record run of appearing at 65 consecutive grand slam tournaments came to an end.

The 34-year-old world number three's appearance at Roland Garros had been in doubt after he missed the Madrid Open with back problems and suffered an early defeat at the Italian Open in the build-up to the claycourt major he won in 2009.

The last time the 17-times grand slam champion was absent from one of the sport's four majors was at the 1999 U.S. Open.

"I regret to announce that I have made the decision not to play in this year's French Open," father of four Federer said in a message posted on Facebook.

"I am still not 100 percent and feel I might be taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event before I am really ready. 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."

Federer's withdrawal will have a significant impact on the draw as nine-times champion Rafael Nadal, ranked five in the world, will now move to fourth seed while defending champion Stan Wawrinka is bumped up to three.

Spaniard Nadal could have faced world number one Novak Djokovic or second seed Andy Murray, as early as the quarter-finals. That scenario has now been avoided.

Federer, who for much of his career has been injury-free, needed a left knee operation after the Australian Open this year, saying afterwards he had torn his meniscus while running a bath for his twin daughters.

Federer, who has been troubled by back problems over the past few years, said he was determined to recover full fitness and prepare for Wimbledon.

"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," said the Swiss, who owns seven Wimbledon titles.

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

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-05-19

  • TENNIS

    Tennis superstar Nadal sues former French sports minister for defamation

    Read more

  • TENNIS

    Nike, Porsche, TAG Heuer drop Sharapova over failed drug test

    Read more

  • TENNIS

    Djokovic beats Murray again to win sixth Australian Open title

    Read more

COMMENT(S)