ATP Cup | Federer to miss inaugural event
Following his withdrawal from the Rolex Paris Masters in order to pace himself over the next year or so because of his age, Roger Federer has now announced he won’t be competing at the inaugural ATP Cup in January.
I am sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment my withdrawal may cause for the fans, but I hope you can understand why I made it Roger Federer
It’s a blow for Switzerland who as a result, has had to withdraw from the event for the rules decree that qualification is decided by the ranking of their No.1 player who, if he withdraws before the second deadline and their No.2 player ranking isn’t high enough to maintain their place, then the team is withdrawn.
As the second player committed to play was Henri Laaksonen ranked 110 at the time, Switzerland, who had been drawn to pay in Sydney Group C, lost their place in the inaugural event.
Federer’s decision was explained by him in a statement released today. It read: “It is with great regret that I am withdrawing from the inaugural ATP Cup event.
When I entered the event last month, it was a really difficult decision because it meant less time at home with the family and a fully intense start to the season.
“After much discussion with both my family and my team about the year ahead, I have decided that the extra two weeks at home will be beneficial for both my family and my tennis.
“It pains me to not be a part of the most exciting new event on the calendar, but this is the right thing to do if I want to continue to play for a longer period of time on the ATP Tour.
“I am sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment my withdrawal may cause for the fans, but I hope you can understand why I made it.
“For my Australian fans, I look forward to seeing you all at the Australian Open, fresh and ready to go.”
Craig Tilley, Tennis Australia CEO was understanding. “Roger is indisputably a legend of our sport and we have been blessed that he has managed to stay at the top of the game for so long.
“We understand this has been a really difficult decision for him. He has always done an extraordinary job being a great dad while managing his career.
“Although we know the fans in Sydney would love to have seen him compete in the ATP Cup, we totally respect his decision and look forward to seeing him at the Australian Open.”
Switzerland’s withdrawal eaves the door open for another country to qualify based on the singles ranking of their No.1 player.
Perth, Brisbane and Sydney will each host eight countries divided into two groups of four for group-stage play. The six group winners and the two second-placed teams with the best records will advance to the Final Eight, to be played exclusively in Sydney.