Roger Federer announced today that he will forgo the upcoming Stockholm event which begins next week.
In a statement on his website, Raja writes, “2008 has been a tough year for me as I was always playing catch up after being diagnosed with mononucleosis at the beginning of the year. I feel fortunate to be healthy again, but I want to remain at the top of the game for many more years to come and go after the #1 ranking again.
“At this point, I am not sure when I will be ready to play again, but I hope to be back at some point before the end of the year,” Federer added.
I said after the Open that Roger should take some serious time off, and he’s doing it. But “hope to be back at some point” leaves it a little mysterious and open to interpretation. My guess is he’ll also miss Madrid, which is the week after Stockholm and then return in about three weeks for Basel then Paris.
That said, I wonder if Roger’s year-end money grab is still a go? If he’s going to skip anything in preparation for 2009 that should be it.
Of course Rafael Nadal has to be smiling somewhat on this news. With Federer potentially pulling from an event like Madrid, Nadal could officially wrap up the year-end No. 1 ranking at the Spanish Masters event. What a celebration that would be!
And if Novak Djokovic wants to get to No. 2, now is his chance. Djokovic will likely have two extra events over Fed in term of picking up points as we head down the stretch, Vienna next week and then Madrid. And the Serb is currently just 22 points behind Roger in the race for No. 2.
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