Tragedy! The French Open draw was released today and for the first time in 65 major tournaments, Roger Federer's name was nowhere to be seen. The former World #1 is experiencing a 2016 season dramatically impacted by injury and has played very few tournaments. Now this has led to what has seemed unthinkable since the 1999 U.S. Open: a grand slam tournament without Federer.
He released a statement on his website explaining his decision to withdraw from Roland Garros 2016:
I regret to announce that I have made the decision not to play in this year’s French Open. I have been making steady progress with my overall fitness, but I am still not 100% and feel I might be taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event before I am really ready. This decision was not easy to make, but I took it to ensure I could play the remainder of the season and help to extend the rest of my career. I remain as motivated and excited as ever and my plan is to achieve the highest level of fitness before returning to the ATP World Tour for the upcoming grass court season. I am sorry for my fans in Paris but I very much look forward to returning to Roland Garros in 2017.As a Federer fan I'm devastated, but honestly the end of the road can be seen. If he doesn't recuperate now, there's no way he will be able to have results in the latter half of the season that will allow him to remain in the Top 10, and if he doesn't do that I'm convinced he'll retire sooner rather than later.
The defending champions of the French Open are Serena Williams and Stan Wawrinka an dthe tournament starts on Sunday May 22.