Paris:Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew from the French Open on Saturday because of an injured right knee and will have surgery next week.
Tsonga said the injury occurred before he pulled out of the Davis Cup quarterfinal loss to the United States in April.
"Since then it was a test to see whether it would hold up," said Tsonga, who pulled out of his semifinal match at a clay-court warm up in Casablanca, Morocco, yesterday. "I reached the critical time when I needed an operation before it's too late."
Nicolas Kiefer of Germany and Fabio Fognini of Italy also pulled out a day before the French Open begins.
Tsonga, who was seeded 14th at the clay-court major, has been bothered by his knee for about a month. He said he would need three to four months to recover.
"After long discussions with my doctors and knee specialist, I made the decision not to play the French Open and to have surgery next week," said Tsonga, who will be replaced in the draw by Luis Horna of Peru.
Tsonga surprisingly reached the Australian Open final this year, beating Rafael Nadal in the semifinals before losing to Novak Djokovic.
"It's enormously frustrating," the Frenchman said.
"To play very well in any Grand Slam is super, but to play very well at Roland Garros would have been magic."
Also joining the main draw are Marc Lopez of Spain and Josselin Ouanna of France. Lopez will face 26th-seeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in the first round, and Ouanna will play Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina. Horna plays Scoville Jenkins of the United States.
Kiefer, who also missed the French Open last year because of injury but reached the fourth round in 2005, withdrew because of a sore throat. The 38th-ranked German's best result at a Grand Slam tournament came at the 2006 Australian Open, where he reached the semifinals but lost to eventual champion Roger Federer.
Fognini, ranked 87th, made his Grand Slam debut at last year's French Open and lost in the first round.