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Injured Roger Federer pulls out of French Open, misses first grand slam since 1999

Swiss world number three Roger Federer will miss a grand slam for the first time since late 1999 after withdrawing from the French Open due to injury.

Roger Federer has pulled out of the French Open due to injury, bringing to an end a run of 65 consecutive grand slam appearances dating back to the start of 2000.

The Swiss maestro, who has been struggling with back and knee problems, said on his website he had been making progress with his fitness but was still not 100 percent.

"I might be taking an unnecessary risk by playing in this event before I am really ready," Federer, who has 17 grand slam singles titles, said. "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."

The world number three, who won the men's singles title at Roland Garros in 2009, promised to be back for the grass season, including Wimbledon which starts at the end of June.

Federer pulled out of this month's Madrid Open due to a back injury and lost to Dominic Thiem in the third round at the Italian Open on his return last week.

The 34-year-old has played at every grand slam event since the U.S. Open in 1999.

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