Belfast Telegraph

Federer: I'll be fit for Australian Open

By Steve Simpson

Roger Federer yesterday pulled out of the Qatar Open but insisted his participation in the Australian Open was not under threat.



The Swiss former world number one withdrew from his scheduled semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Doha citing a back injury.

He remains confident, however, he will be okay to play in the season's opening grand slam event in Melbourne which gets under way on January 16.

He told said: "I hurt my back in my second round match against (Grega) Zemlja and just got a little bit better for the match against (Andreas) Seppi.

"I don't feel a whole lot of improvement for today, and I just don't think it's the right time to risk anything more right now. I still have pain, and that's why it was the only right decision, a difficult one for me.

"For Australia, I'm optimistic. It's not good, but it isn't crazy bad. Without playing and the right treatment I will get through it.”

Federer is the latest big-name player to suffer an injury scare with both defending Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams withdrawing from the Brisbane International.

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