Roger Federer has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open to focus on the grass court season, which occurs directly after Roland Garros and the hard-court season, which will take place over the summer.
Federer collected his 18th major title at this year's Australian Open as well as victories at the Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami. In an April 29th interview with the Tennis Channel, the Swiss number two had still planned to enter in Paris, but changed his mind to preserve his chances of playing several more years.
Federer pulls out with hopes of a sterling summer
Undoubtedly one of the most popular players at Roland Garros, Federer acknowledged he 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 surely comes as a disappointment to the French faithful as the Swiss missed last year's event due to injury.
His victory over Robin Soderling ranks as one of the finest moments of his career, having finally won the only major that had eluded him, completing the career Grand Slam with a victory over the Swede. His eyes now turn towards Wimbledon, where he is a seven-time champion and the U.S. Open, where he has lifted the trophy five times.
Federer will be defending 990 points during the grass swing, having reached the semifinals at Stuttgart, Halle and Wimbledon. With virtually no points to defend going into the US summer hardcourt season, a return to the top spot in the rankings is a definite possibility.
Citing his desire to "try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come", the idea of playing just one clay court event after withdrawing from Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome "was not in the best interest of my tennis and physical preparation for the remainder of the season".
Federer's withdrawl leaves just three former Roland Garros winners in the field: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka. Having already won in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, the Spanish legend is the overwhelming favorite to collect his 10th championship at the French Open.