Federer out of French Open; first since 1999

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May 20, 2016
Roger Federer

Roger Federer pulled out of the French Open yesterday, ending his record streak of appearing in 65 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments every one since the start of 2000.

The 17-time major champion, who had a knee operation this year but returned to play at the Monte Carlo Masters in early April, has been dealing with a back problem that has limited his schedule in recent weeks.

"I regret to announce that I have made the decision not to play in this year's French Open," the 34-year-old said in a statement on his website.

"I have been making steady progress with my overall fitness, but I am still not 100 per cent and feel I might be taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event before I am really ready."

He has been in Paris this week, practising on the red clay and testing his back. Last week, Federer played in the Italian Open and lost to Dominic Thiem in the third round. He withdrew from the Madrid Open the previous week because of back pain.

The previous major tournament Federer missed was the 1999 U.S. Open, when he failed to qualify for the main draw.

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