Fed­erer to skip French Open

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY HOWARD FENDRICH

Af­ter spend­ing a few days prac­tic­ing on clay courts in Switzer­land, a healthy and well­rested Roger Fed­erer set­tled on his up­com­ing sched­ule: He will by­pass the French Open and turn his fo­cus to Wim­ble­don, then the U.S. Open.

“It was a tough de­ci­sion to take, be­cause he likes to play the French Open, likes to play the big tour­na­ments,” Sev­erin Luthi, who coaches Fed­erer, said in a tele­phone in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press on Mon­day. “But I think it was the best de­ci­sion for him. It’s an in­vest­ment in his ca­reer — for this sea­son and for the com­ing sea­sons.”

Fed­erer posted a mes­sage en­ti­tled “Roger to skip Roland Gar­ros” on his web­site on Mon­day, an­nounc­ing that he will stay away from com­pet­ing on clay en­tirely in 2017 and in­stead will pre­pare for the grass- and hard­court events that fol­low.

“I’ve been work­ing re­ally hard, both on and off the court, dur­ing the last month,” Fed­erer wrote, “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.”

It’s the sec­ond year in a row that Fed­erer pulled out of the French Open, where main-draw play be­gins in Paris on May 28. He won the ti­tle at the clay­court ma­jor in 2009 to com­plete a ca­reer Grand Slam.

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