Roger Federer has said recovery from a lung infection may keep him out of action for up to six weeks, but will not affect his game for the rest of the year.
The world's number one tennis player picked up the infection last week and withdrew from the Dubai Championships, which began on Monday. It is the second straight year Federer has missed the tournament, and the Swiss said “it hurt” to pull out.
In an interview with the Blick tabloid, he said the infection was “very serious”. In training last week he had started to feel chills, fever, extreme rib pain and had trouble breathing.
“The fatigue is still there although it is slowly getting better. I hope that I can get rid of it quickly. A restart is only possible if the entire body gets the green light. The worst case prognosis is a six-week break. I have to accept that,” he said.
Federer said the current illness was not like the glandular fever he suffered in 2008. He intends to start preparing for the Indian Wells masters tournament in California, which starts on March 11, once he gets the all-clear from doctors.