May 20, 2016 / 8:02 AM / 3 years ago

Local favorite Monfils pulls out of French Open

Tennis - Madrid Open - Gael Monfils of France v Kevin Anderson of South Africa - Madrid, Spain - 3/5/16 Monfils returns the ball. REUTERS/Susana Vera

(Reuters) - World number 14 Gael Monfils has withdrawn from the French Open with a viral infection, the grand slam tournament’s organizers said on Friday.

“@Gael_Monfils withdraws from #RG16 because of a bad virus. Get well soon and see you for #RG17 Gael,” they said in the official French Open Twitter feed.

The 29-year-old Frenchman joins world number three Roger Federer on the sidelines.

Federer, champion in Paris in 2009 - the year he beat Monfils in the semi-finals - pulled out of the year’s second grand slam on Thursday, citing a lack of fitness.

A quarter-finalist at the year’s opening grand slam in Melbourne in January, Monfils has had a mixed claycourt season so far. He was knocked out in the second round of the Madrid Open earlier this month, then lost his first round match at the Italian Open, but had been runner-up at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.

Monfils, who’s semi-final appearance in 2009 remains his best performance at Roland Garros, was knocked out in the fourth round by Federer last year.

Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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