Injured Federer out of Madrid Open
Roger Federer has withdrawn from this week’s Madrid Open due to a back injury.
The world number three said he had sustained the injury on Saturday during practice and had decided to take the safer option by pulling out.
Explaining the problem was a recurrence of a previous back issue, Federer added he still hopes to play next week’s ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome.
“At this point I don’t want to take more chances, as I know I won’t be fully ready for Wednesday,” he said.
“I want to play it safe, rest up and get ready for Rome, that’s the schedule now.”
Federer, twice a winner on the claycourts of the Spanish capital, had been due to face Joao Sousa or Nicolas Mahut in his opening match of the tournament but he will now be replaced by a lucky loser – Marcel Granollers.
The Swiss star was seeded to meet old rival Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals but the home hope – and Briton Andy Murray, who is also in the bottom half of the draw – now appears to have an easier route to the final.
Federer’s season has been much disrupted by injury and illness.
This latest problem comes on the back of knee surgery in February, which forced him to miss tournaments in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells.
And when he was fit enough to return, the 34-year-old had to withdraw in Miami after falling ill.
He had initially planned to play little during the claycourt season in a bid to stay fresh for the summer challenges of Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open but his early-season problems forced him to reassess.
He returned to action in Monte Carlo last month and, only last week, decided to play in Madrid.
• Culled from Sportinglife.com