Federer pulls out of Dubai event to focus on training

Roger Federer has pulled out of the upcoming ATP 500 event in Dubai after the former World No. 1 lost in the Qatar Open quarterfinals.

Roger Federer reacts during his quarterfinal loss to Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.   -  Getty Images

Roger Federer has pulled out of the upcoming ATP 500 event in Dubai after the former World No. 1 lost in the Qatar Open quarterfinals on Thursday, his first tournament in more than a year.

The 39-year-old Swiss, who returned to action after two knee operations last year, beat Briton Dan Evans in three sets in his comeback match in Doha but lost 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in the next round.

“It’s been great to be back on the @atptour, loved every minute playing in Doha once again,” 20-times Grand Slam winner Federer said on social media. “I’ve decided it’s best to go back to training and as a result, I’ve decided to withdraw from Dubai next week.”

 

World No. 2 Rafa Nadal has also pulled out of the Dubai Duty Free event, which runs from March 14-20.

Federer is an eight-times Dubai champion and claimed his 100th tour-level title at the tournament in 2019. He has already decided not to defend his Miami Open title at the March 22-April 4 Masters 1000 event.

Federer had targeted a return at last month's Australian Open but skipped the Grand Slam and said he said he would play in events that would help him regain fitness before Wimbledon.