Thu, Feb 19, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Injured Federer pulls out of Davis Cup and Dubai

AGENCIES , BERNE AND BASEL, SWITZERLAND

Swiss world No. 2 Roger Federer has withdrawn from next month’s Davis Cup first-round tie against the US because of a back injury.

“Unfortunately I have to announce that I will not be taking part in either the Dubai tournament of the Davis Cup tie in the States,” Federer said in a statement released by the Swiss tennis federation on Tuesday. “It was a very difficult decision for me because it means I will miss not only one of my favorite events on the Tour, but also the chance along with my teammates to reach the next round of the Davis Cup.”

“After my back injury last autumn I didn’t have enough time to build up the affected muscles again and fully heal,” Federer said on his Web site. “I will use the coming weeks for further rehabilitation in order to be sure that I’m fully fit for the rest of the season.”

Federer, who has won 13 Grand Slam titles, played in the Australian Open last month and reached the final, which he lost in five sets to world No. 1 Rafa Nadal.

“I will now use the coming weeks for further rehabilitation, to be certain that I am fully fit again and ready for the rest of the season,” he said.

Federer had deliberately chosen not to play the opening round of the Davis Cup in recent years in order to concentrate on retaining his status as world No. 1.

His decision to play in this season’s first round, following his toppling from the No. 1 spot by Nadal of Spain, was seen as a major boost for Switzerland’s chances of winning their first Davis Cup title.

“We hugely regret that Roger cannot travel with the team to the USA,” team captain Severin Luethi said. “The health of every player is of course the most important thing however, and we hope to have Roger back with us again in time for the next tie.”

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