Roger Federer is to skip the French Open this month as he eyes a record eighth title at the Championships, Wimbledon.
The 35-year-old, who made a remarkable return from a six-month absence following surgery to win the Australian Open in February, has revealed he will take no part in the current clay court season.
Federer has won one Roland Garros title and has been a finalist three times, his lowest return for a Grand Slam. All those final defeats came against Rafael Nadal, whom Federer beat in the final at Melbourne but who is emerging as favourite for a tenth French Open title having gone unbeaten so far through the clay court season.
While Federer's motivation for sitting out Roland Garros may be helped by the long odds against him winning a tournament of long rallies on a slow surface at his age, the lure of a record eighth Wimbledon title will be even more important. At present he sits level with William Renshaw and Pete Sampras on seven.
Federer said: "I need to recognise that scheduling will be the key to my longevity.
"Thus, my team and I concluded that playing just one event on clay was not in the best interest of my tennis and physical preparation for the remainder of the season.
"I will miss the French fans, who have always been so supportive and I look forward to seeing them at Roland Garros next year."
This will be second successive year Federer has missed Roland Garros, having been injured last year.
If Federer does win Wimbledon, he will not be the first player in recent years to do so after missing the French Open. Andy Murray skipped Roland Garros to rest a back injury in 2013 and went on to win the title he craved most a few weeks later.
Murray has been struggling for form of late, but will be hoping to get into gear ahead of the year's second Grand Slam. Having been the losing finalist against Novak Djokovic last year, Murray is aiming to be the first British man to win the French Open title since Fred Perry in 1935.