All streaks come to an end, and that’s true of Roger Federer’s consecutive appearances in majors. The Swiss Maestro, after missing parts of the season with injuries already, announced on Thursday that he would not be participating in the 2016 French Open. Federer had been in the main draw of every men’s singles event at Roland Garros since debuting at the event in 1999.
Federer made his announcement using social media:
“I regret to announce that I have made the decision not to play in this year’s French Open,” his Facebook status said on Thursday afternoon in Paris. “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.”
Federer also stated that the decision was meant to protect his 2016 season and the longevity of his career:
“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.”
Federer missing the 2016 French Open also means that his streak of appearances in 65 straight majors is over. Roland Garros this season will mark the first time his name will not appear in the main draw for a Grand Slam since the 1999 US Open, which was won by Andre Agassi over Todd Martin.
There will be no ranking implications for Federer directly associated with him missing this year’s clay-court Grand Slam. Federer made the quarterfinals last season and his absence this season means that he will leave 360 points undefended. However, Stan Wawrinka is the World No. 4, and he has no room for growth at the French this year since he won the tournament last year. World No. 5 Rafael Nadal is too far back to catch Federer with results from Roland Garros alone.
However, Federer will be vulnerable to a ranking slide if he is not playing his best tennis at Wimbledon this summer. After all, the Swiss Maestro was the runner-up at that event last season and earned 1200 ranking points. With Wawrinka not playing his best, it would not be surprising to see Nadal and Kei Nishikori as the World No. 3 and World No. 4 in about six week’s time.
The draw ceremony for the 2016 French Open will take place on Friday at 11:15 am local time in Paris (very early in the morning in North America).