Five-time US Open champion Roger Federer will not compete in this year’s US Open as he sits out the remainder of the 2016 season to continue rehabilitation from knee surgery in February. The world No. 3 made the announcement on Tuesday through his Facebook page.
“Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year,” Federer wrote. “The doctors advised that if I want to play …injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover.”
Federer thanked his fans for their support and added that he is “as motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy towards coming back strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017.”
The 17-time Grand Slam winner will not appear in the final major of the year for the first time since 1998 and will be absent from the main draw for the first time since 1999, when he lost in the second round of qualifying. He won the tournament five consecutive times from 2004 to 2008 and finished as runner-up in 2009 and 2015.
Germany's Dustin Brown takes Federer's place in the 2016 US Open main draw.
Federer was also forced to sit out Roland Garros earlier this year due to ongoing rehab following the knee surgery, breaking a record of 65 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.
The Swiss star finishes 2016 with a 21-7 record, which includes finishing as runner-up at the Australian Open tune-up in Brisbane and posting semifinal showings at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. This marks the first year since 2001 that Federer has not won a tournament title.
The US Open runs from Aug. 29-Sept. 11.