Family first: Roger Federer won't play the Dubai Open!


Family first: Roger Federer won't play the Dubai Open!

Roger Federer won't play the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships that starts on Monday. The tournament director Salah Talhak announced the news in an interview on Friday. 'I was informed by his agent that he wants to first spend time with his four children and wife Mirka.

After that he wants to make the trip early to the US and start preparing for the defence of his title at Indian Wells and Miami later', Talhak explained. 'He also said that this decision from the world No. 1 has nothing to do with Dubai, but it’s simply because he doesn’t want to take any chances during the build-up to his defence of the two titles in Indian Wells and Miami.

In fact he has conveyed his willingness to come and play in Dubai next year.' Federer owns a luxurious house near Dubai Marina, and he often trains there during the winter months. But now he is in Switzerland, enjoying the snow, and next week on Tuesday February 27 he will head to Monte Carlo for the Laureus Awards Ceremony (he is among the nominees).

And now that his goal of being world No. 1 has been accomplished by winning the Rotterdam Open, he doesn't feel the necessity of playing Dubai, where he won seven titles out of 13 appearances. Even by winning the title at the Acapulco Open, Rafael Nadal will stay world No.

2, being 100 points away from Federer, who will lose the 45 points earned in Dubai last year when he reached the second round. The 20-time Grand Slam winner will play the Match for Africa 5 with Bill Gates, Jack Sock and Savannah Guthrie, before the two American Masters 1000s.

Federer's absence in Dubai became official when the fourth wild card spot was left, with the first alternate Pierre-Hugues Herbert making it into the main draw. The Dubai Open will feature just two top 20 players, Grigor Dimitrov and Lucas Pouille.

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