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Federer Forced To Withdraw From Dubai With Lung Infection

Dubai, UAE

Roger Federer© Barclays Dubai Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer talked to the press in front of the Burj Al Arab hotel on Sunday.

Four-time former champion Roger Federer has been forced to withdraw from the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships due to a lung infection.

The Swiss superstar picked up the infection last week and has not recovered sufficiently to take his place at the $2 million ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament.

He is expected to be out of action for a further two weeks and is now scheduled to make his first appearance since capturing the Australian Open title (d. Murray) at the BNP Paribas Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, in March.

"I'm hoping to be back for Indian Wells," said Federer on Sunday. "But of course there are no promises. This is something that with proper treatment will be finished.

"I've been taking it easy, relaxing as much as possible. My breathing is a bit difficult and everything feels a bit slow. I can't take any chances until I'm fit again. It could be better, it could be worse."

Czech Jan Hernych, who fell in the final round of qualifying, becomes a lucky loser in the main draw. Spaniard Tommy Robredo takes Federer's place at the top of the draw and will play Julien Benneteau of France in the first round.

Federer has a 25-3 match record in Dubai, picking up titles in 2003 (d. Novak), 2004 (d. Lopez), 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and 2007 (d. Youzhny). He was also runner-up in 2006 (l. to Nadal).

Five of the World’s Top 10, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic, are competing at The Aviation Club in Dubai this week.

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