Roger Federer has explained that injury, scheduling, and his wife’s birthday were the reasons for his three-year snub of the French Open.
The 37-year-old last graced the red dirt of Roland Garros back in 2015, but he will make his return to the tournament next week.
Many rumours have persisted over exactly why Federer kept his distance, but he has now explained all.
“In 2016, I was training on the short number one and I said to myself: ‘What am I doing here at Roland?’” Federer told Le Equipe.
“My back is completely blocked, my knee is not good, it is maximum a third turn, it’s not possible to do more.
“In 2017, I trained two days on the ground because I thought I was going to play.
“It was snowing, it was four degrees and I went to play under a bubble with Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
“Honestly, I asked myself: ‘Do I still need this?’
“Training every day is not a problem, but in these conditions. Practicing in a bubble, it inspires zero.
“I want to play in the open air when the weather is nice, play games and there, I row to practice on the ground that I really did not enjoy.
“In addition, I had played so well in 2017, I won Indian Wells and Miami, I thought I had to take time and I do not stress to play Roland to play Roland again.
“Last year, I wanted to make a break and it was my wife’s birthday.
“I really wanted to celebrate and make time for friends, my wife, who has always supported me, and my children.”
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Novak Djokovic has his say.
Robin Soderling opens up.
Episode 156 for the Adria Tour drama.
A mouthful from Dominic Thiem.