Roger Federer to skip French Open
Roger Federer has withdrawn from the French Open in a bid to keep his career going for as long as possible.
The Swiss, who won the Australian Open in January, is 35 years old and won the title at Roland Garros in 2009.
However, clay has never been his favourite surface and he has chosen to try and prolong his career.
Federer could return to action on grass at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart which starts on June 12, a day after the French Open final.
He could also play in Halle in Germany the following week before the third major of the year begins at Wimbledon on July 3.
In a statement on his website, he wrote: "Regrettably, I've decided not to participate in the French Open. 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 clay court season this year and prepare for the grass and hard court seasons.
"The start to the year has been magical for me but I need to recognize 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.
"I will miss the French fans, who have always been so supportive and I look forward to seeing them at Roland Garros next year."
The news will come as a boost to world No 1 Andy Murray, who has struggled after an elbow injury at the start of 2017, and Rafa Nadal who lost in the final in Melbourne but won the Madrid Open over the weekend.