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Federer to skip Dubai and Davis Cup tie

Latest update : 2009-02-17

Roger Federer, the world's number two, has announced his withdrawal from both the Dubai Open and Switzerland's Davis Cup game against the United States. The Swiss has been suffering from a persistent backache since last autumn.

AFP - World number two Roger Federer said on Tuesday he will miss Switzerland's Davis Cup encounter against the United States as well as next week's ATP event in Dubai as he recovers from a niggling back injury.

Federer said on his official internet site he had not had sufficient time to strengthen his back after hurting it last autumn and was skipping from his two upcoming engagements as a precautionary measure.

"Today, I am disappointed to announce that I am withdrawing from both Dubai and the Davis Cup tie in the United States," Federer said.

"This was a hard decision to make as I am missing not only one of my favourite 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. 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 needs to target tip-top condition as he tries to wrest back the initiative from world number one Rafael Nadal, who reduced him to tears when he beat him in the Australian Open final last month.

The loss, his fifth on a roll to the Spaniard, ensured Federer must wait to equal Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slams.

The Basler Zeitung newspaper quoted Swiss team captain Severin Luethi as saying on its website: "We are very sorry that Roger will not be able to travel with the team to the USA. But obviously the health of a player is paramount and we hope that Roger will be back for the next tie."

The USA will host the Davis Cup World Group first round match starting March 6 in Birmingham, Alabama while Dubai starts on February 23.

Date created : 2009-02-17