Besides change, the only thing which remained constant through this entire phase was the lively, charming presence of Roger Federer, who is arguably one of the tennis greats of all times.

As Federer announced his inability to take part in the 2016 French Open due to back and knee injuries, let us go down the memory lane and take sneak peek at the happenings when he missed the US Open in 1999 because, well, he couldn't qualify for it.

Federer was 18 years old at that time while his primary rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were 12 and 13 years old respectively.

Pete Sampras was on the top of the men's singles rankings; Andre Aggasi stood second.

Steffi Graff had retired from the game just two weeks back.

The aforementioned US Open was the first singles Grand Slam title for Serena Williams. The tally which stands at a whooping 21 now.

As for Indian sports scenario:

Sania Mirza was 13 years old and on her way to becoming the biggest female tennis star of the country.

The Cricket World Cup of 1999 (England) was marred by controversies with Indian captain Mohammad Azhruddin being charged with match-fixing.

By: Ira Shukla

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