Former World No 1 Andy Murray has decided not take part in the clay court season this year and will therefore miss the French Open Grand Slam at Roland Garros. Murray also missed the tournament last year and is now likely to focus the grass season which culminates with the Wimbledon Championships in the summer.
The two-time Wimbledon Champion has always considered the clay his weakest surface but did appear in the French Open final back in 2016. He has enjoyed much more success on the grass and hard courts so it is no major surprise he has chosen to prioritise these surfaces. Murray has also suffered from injuries in recent years and has required hip surgery which has limited his time on court and ability to compete at the very top level of the sport. He will be hoping this decision will give him chance to have a more effective challenge at The Queens Club Championships in June where he is a record 5-time Champion. Queens is followed by the Wimbledon Championships where Murray was crowned champion in 2013 & 2016.
Could Djokovic also be missing?
Another high-profile absentee at Roland Garros could be World No 1 & defending Champion Novak Djokovic. It is possible that the drama surrounding Djokovic’s Covid-19 vaccination status could resurface in the build up to the French Open in May. It is still unknown what rules will be in place for players competing in Paris but it is suggested all competitors will have to be fully vaccinated. The Serb has been reluctant to reveal whether he has received the vaccine and was deported from Melbourne in the lead up to the Australian Open last month, which prevented him playing in the Grand Slam. Rafael Nadal was the eventual winner of the tournament and in the process overtook Djokovic & Roger Federer in the all-time records by claiming his 21st major title.