According to the New York Times on Thursday, Roger Federer of Switzerland is having to pull out of the 2020 French Open due to knee surgery. It will be the fourth time in the last five years Federer is missing Roland Garros as he did not compete in 2016, 2017 and 2018 either.
Federer had success in France last year on red dirt. He went all the way to the semifinals before losing to the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal of Spain, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. We all know that Federer is not as effective on clay as other surfaces, but got a favorable draw a year ago at the second major of the year. He did not have to play a seeded player for the first four rounds of the tournament as he knocked off Lorenzo Sonego of Italy in the first round, Oscar Otte of Germany in the second round, Casper Ruud of Norway in the third round, and then Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in the fourth round.
Then in the quarterfinals, Federer beat fellow Swiss opponent and 24th seed Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. Federer simply does not lose to Wawrinka. All-time he is 23-3 against him.
Earlier this year, Federer had a strong performance at the Australian Open where he once again reached the semifinals. This time he beat Steve Johnson of the United States in the first round, Filip Krajinovic of Serbia in the second round, John Millman of Australia in the third round, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in the fourth round and Tennys Sandgren of the United States in the quarterfinals before losing to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals. When Federer beat Millman in the third round, he became the first player to win 100 matches at the Australian Open. While playing the first major of the season in Melbourne, Federer also suffered a groin injury.
The fact that Federer is pulling out of the French Open is no surprise. He is presumably saving his body for not only Wimbledon, but the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo as well.