Federer withdraws from Kooyong Classic

World number one Roger Federer has pulled out of an exhibition tennis tournament less than a week away from the Australian Open, because of a severe stomach virus.

This content was published on January 7, 2008 minutes

The Swiss tennis star told officials at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne on Monday that he became ill after arriving in Australia last Friday from his training base in Dubai.

"It continued to get worse over the weekend," Federer said. "After trying to practice on Saturday afternoon, I went to see the doctors and they immediately performed a series of tests.

"The doctors have advised me that I should take a couple of days off and recuperate so that I am able to be 100 per cent for the start of the Australian Open."

The season's opening grand slam event begins on January 14.

Federer, who is aiming for his third straight Australian Open title, hopes to resume training by Wednesday or Thursday. The eight-man Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament begins on Wednesday.

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