Ailing top-seed Roger Federer has pulled out of the ATP Dubai Open due to a lung infection which could keep him sidelined for up to six weeks.
“He has got a lung infection,” announced ATP circuit official Stephen Duckett here on Sunday.
“He saw a doctor and he was advised not to play for a fortnight.”
Federer is hoping to have recovered in time to play at the ATP World Masters at Indian Wells which starts on March 11, or if that came too soon then at the following tournament in Miami.
The world number one said: “There are no guarantees that I will play at Indian Wells — this could be a maximum of six weeks, but if it’s treated properly everything should be fine and I should be back fairly quickly.”
Federer, a four-time Dubai champion, was due to appear here for his first tournament since beating Andy Murray to win his fourth Australian Open at the start of the month.
Explaining how he had come down with the infection he added: “Ever since I came back from Australia I’ve been practising really hard but Tuesday was the last time I could practise.
“On Wednesday I couldn’t get up anymore — and the next day I just wasn’t in shape at all.
“I survived all the travelling from Australia to Dubai and into the practise routine again — but as you’ve heard now I can’t play.
“It’s a lung infection — it’s the first time I’ve had it — breathing is difficult — I’m very tired and slow.”
Sharapova triumphs in Memphis
Maria Sharapova put her disappointing Australian Open performance behind her Saturday, as she beat Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-1 to win the WTA Tour’s Memphis title.
Somdev qualifies for Dubai Championships
India’s Somdev Devvarman has qualified for the Barclays Dubai Open beginning Monday. He will play Swiss Marco Chiudinelli in the first round. In the final qualifying round, Somdev, seeded seventh, rallied Belgium’s Dick Norman to win 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-1.
In the doubles, Leander Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy are seeded second whereas Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi are seeded third.
Rohan Bopanna and his parter Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi have been given the wildcard.
Paes and Dlouhy open against Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski while Bhupathi and Mirnyi play UAE’s Mahmoud-Nader Al Baloushi and Kuwait’s Abdullah Magdas in the first round.