After making his way to Paris for a little bit of a practice session, tennis star Roger Federer has decided not to play in this year’s French Open due to fitness reasons.
In a statement made by Federer, the 34-year-old said, “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.”
Federer also said that upon missing the French Open now, he is hoping to be able to “play the remainder of the season and help to extend the rest of my career.”
According to a report from ESPN, the 17-time Grand Slam title holder had undergone an arthroscopic surgery earlier in February for a torn cartilage in his left knee. Following this, Federer managed to make a return to the Monte Carlo Masters back in early April. However, he has since been dealing with some problems with his back, which has left him playing much less than he would want to recently.
In fact, Federer was also forced to drop out during the round three of the Rome Masters just a week earlier. Here, he ended up losing against Dominic Thiem. Prior to that, Federer had withdrawn from the Madrid Open due to back issues.
Federer currently ranks third in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings, where he had recently traded places with Andy Murray, who now ranks number two. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic is currently at number one.
Federer is hopeful he will be able to make a return to the ATP World Tour in time for the grass court session. For now, he told his fans in Paris, “I very much look forward to returning to Roland Garros in 2017.”