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Wimbledon finalist Anderson skips French Open

Miami Open 2019 - Day 11

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - MARCH 28: Kevin Anderson of South Africa in action against Roger Federer of Switzerland during day eleven of the Miami Open tennis on March 28, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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Two-time Grand Slam runner-up Kevin Anderson is skipping the clay-court swing this season because of a lingering right elbow injury.

Anderson announced Tuesday via a post on Twitter that he is withdrawing from the French Open, as well as tuneup tournaments in Estoril, Madrid and Rome.

The 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) South African, who is ranked No. 6, has been dealing with elbow issues for much of the year. He has played in only 10 matches in 2019, citing the elbow when pulling out of tournaments in New York, Delray Beach, Indian Wells and Acapulco.

“After discussing with my doctors and team, we thought the best decision is to rest and rehab my elbow injury for a few more weeks,” Anderson said. “I will keep working hard each day to get healthy again in time for grass.”

Anderson’s most recent appearance came at the Miami Open last month, when he made it to the fourth round before losing to Roger Federer.

The big-serving Anderson’s greatest successes have come on faster surfaces.

He reached the final at Wimbledon on grass last year before losing to Novak Djokovic and was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal on the hard courts of the U.S. Open in 2017.

At Wimbledon in 2018, Anderson edged John Isner in the semifinals by a 26-24 score in the fifth set. That match served as the impetus for Grand Slam tournaments to discuss adding tiebreakers for the final set.

At the All England Club this year, for example, a first-to-seven, win-by-two tiebreaker will be used when matches reach 12-all in the fifth set of men’s matches and the third set of women’s matches.

Anderson’s best showing on the slower clay of Roland Garros - where play begins on May 26 - has been making it to the fourth round. He lost at that stage four times, including each of the past two years.

He turns 33 next month.

His tweet on Tuesday called the choice to sit out the coming stretch of the tour calendar “the right decision for the long term in my career.”