Roger Federer says he'll skip French Open after loss to world's 175th-ranked player

Busted Racquet
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1221919/" data-ylk="slk:Roger Federer">Roger Federer</a> will skip clay season and the French Open for the second straight year. (AP)
Roger Federer will skip clay season and the French Open for the second straight year. (AP)

Saturday was a tough one for Roger Federer.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion who won his first 17 matches of the year, including the Australian Open championship, lost his second straight match, this time at the Miami Open to Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis, the 175th-ranked player in the world.

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It was the first time since 2014 that Federer has lost back-to-back matches. He previously lost to Juan Martin del Potro at Indian Wells last Sunday.

“Every time I had chances, something bad happened,” Federer said of the loss. “Wrong decision-making by me, good decision-making by him. It’s disappointing. I don’t know why I couldn’t get to any level I was happy with today.”

In the process, he lost his world No. 1 ranking which will go Rafael Nadal when the new rankings are released on April 2.

After the match, Federer announced that he is skipping the upcoming clay season, which means he’ll miss the French Open for the second year in row.

“I decided not to play,” Federer said.

It’s not a major surprise, as Federer, 36 is playing at an unprecedented level for a player his age, and reserving effort and energy for his stronger surfaces of grass and hardcourt seems a prudent decision at this stage of his career.

Federer won his only title at Roland Garros in 2009. By comparison, he’s won each of the other three Grand Slam titles on grass and hardcourt at least five times.

His presence will surely be missed in Paris, but for tennis fans who appreciate the extended greatness from the best of all time, the rest is worthwhile.

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