The world's number-one tennis player Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Dubai Championships because of a lung infection.
Organisers said on Sunday that the Swiss star picked up the infection last week and will miss the $2 million event (SFr2.15 million), which starts on Monday. This is the second straight year that Federer has missed the tournament.
Circuit official Stephen Duckett said Federer had seen a doctor and that he "was advised not to play for a fortnight".
Federer, a four-time winner in Dubai, said he will indeed rest for two weeks. He is expected to return to competition for a tournament in Indian Wells, California, that begins on March 11.
Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic will take Federer's place in the main draw.
American player Andy Roddick, the 2008 champion, withdrew from the event on Saturday. That leaves defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray of Britain, as well as Nikolay Davydenko, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Marin Cilic as the top-ten ranked players in the field at the hardcourt event.
swissinfo.ch and agencies