20 May 2016

Federer pulls out of Roland Garros

6:17 am on 20 May 2016

Former champion Roger Federer has withdrawn from next week's French Open, citing fitness issues.

Roger Federer

Roger Federer Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 34-year-old world number three missed the recent Madrid Open with back problems and suffered an early defeat at the Italian Open.

"I am still not 100% and feel I might be taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event before I am really ready," the 17-times grand slam champion said on a statement issued on his Facebook account.

"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."

His withdrawal ends his record streak of playing at 65 consecutive grand slam tournaments.

He has played every Grand Slam tournament this century.

The Swiss has struggled with injury this year, having undergone knee surgery after January's Australian Open.

The former world number one returned for the Monte Carlo Masters in April and reached the quarter-finals, where he was beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Federer, winner of the 2009 French Open, has played in just four events in 2016.