PARIS: France’s Gaël Monfils has been forced to withdraw from the French Open starting on Sunday (Monday in Manila) because of a viral infection.
The world No.14’s agent said on Friday that the 29-year-old had been “weakened and hospitalized in recent days”.
He becomes the second Top 20 player to pull out of the clay-court tournament after third-ranked Swiss Roger Federer because of a back problem.
It is the second time that Monfils has been forced out of his home Grand Slam after a knee injury sidelined him in 2012.
Monfils had represented one of France’s top hopes in Roland Garros after reaching the semi-finals in 2008 and quarterfinals in 2009, 2011 and 2014.
He had gotten off to a good start on clay this season reaching the Monte-Carlo finals – the first French player to do so since Cedric Pioline won the title in 2000 – losing in three sets to Rafael Nadal 7-5, 5-7, 6-0.
The Parisian then withdrew from Munich with a groin injury, the third straight year he was forced to quit the German tournament.
He subsequently lost in the second round in Madrid to Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas and in the first round in Rome, blaming sickness, against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.