Roger Federer pulled out of Switzerland’s Davis Cup series against the United States next month and a tournament in Dubai next week because of a back problem that has bothered him since last year.
The 13-time Grand Slam singles champion had announced in October he would play for his country against the U.S. team led by Andy Roddick in Birmingham, Ala., on March 6-8. It would have been the first time since 2004 that Federer played in first-round Davis Cup matches.
“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 said in a statement posted on his website Tuesday. Click here for the whole statement
He has not played a competitive match since Feb. 1, when he lost to top-ranked Rafael Nadal in five sets in the Australian Open final.
Nadal meanwhile also deals with his own problems. A right leg injury could force him to miss the Dubai tournament too, but he said he hopes to play for Spain in the Davis Cup.