Roger Federer has announced that he has withdrawn from the upcoming Davis Cup competition and the Dubai ATP event.
In a statement on his website, RogerFederer.com, Federer said today: “I am disappointed to announce that I am withdrawing from both Dubai and the Davis Cup tie in the United States. This was a hard decision to make as I am missing not only one of my favorite events on tour in Dubai but I am also missing out on an opportunity to help my country try and move on to the next round of Davis Cup.
“After injuring my back last fall, I did not have enough time to strengthen it completely,” added Federer who spends much of his downtime in Dubai. “As a precautionary measure, I will use the next few weeks to make sure the back injury is fully rehabilitated and I am ready for the rest of the 2009 season.”
Federer was scheduled to lead his Switzerland team against the United States in a much-anticipated showdown in Birmingham, Alabama on March 6-8.
With Federer sidelined, Stanislas Wawrinka will likely have to shoulder the burden against Andy Roddick and James Blake. The next highest ranked player after Wawrinka is Stephane Bohli who may be Federer’s replacement. Neither team has been officially announced.
In his last match Federer was beaten by World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in five sets in a dramatic Australian Open final.
Federer’s withdrawals do raise into question just how much the Swiss has gotten over that loss, if at all. Federer made no mention of any lingering back issues during the Melbourne tournament nor has he competed since then.
If healthy, Federer will next appear in Indian Wells on March 12.
There is also question as to the health and availability of Nadal who is also scheduled to compete in both Davis Cup and Dubai. Nadal aggravated his knee during the Rotterdam tournament last weekend.
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