Fed­erer to skip French Open and fo­cus on Wim­ble­don

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PARIS: Roger Fed­erer has pulled out of this month’s French Open as he feels he needs to avoid play­ing on clay this sea­son in or­der to pro­long his ca­reer, the 18-time grand slam cham­pion said on Monday.

The Swiss, who de­fied logic to win the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary af­ter be­ing out of tennis for six months, will skip the May 28June 11 clay­court ma­jor for the sec­ond year run­ning af­ter miss­ing last year’s edi­tion through in­jury.

“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 clay­court sea­son this year and pre­pare for the grass and hard­court sea­sons,” World No 5 Fed­erer, who won his sole Roland Gar­ros ti­tle in 2009, said on his Face­book page.

“The start to the year has been mag­i­cal for me but I need to recog­nise 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.”

Fed­erer, 35, has al­ready won the three big­gest ti­tles of the year to date as he fol­lowed his tri­umph in Aus­tralia with wins at In­dian Wells and the Mi­ami Open.

Af­ter that stun­ning run, Fed­erer, who missed the sec­ond half of last year re­cov­er­ing from knee surgery, said that he would likely skip the Euro­pean clay­court sea­son ex­cept for the French Open.

Fed­erer’s an­nounce­ment came a day af­ter Rafael Nadal won his third con­sec­u­tive clay­court ti­tle of the sea­son ahead of the French Open, where the Spa­niard will be bid­ding for his 10th Roland Gar­ros ti­tle.

Fed­erer will now fo­cus on be­ing in top form for Wim­ble­don, which be­gins on July 3 and where he is a seven-time cham­pion. Reuters

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