The Sony Open on Key Biscayne will be missing one of its most popular players this year.
Roger Federer is taking a seven-week break from the tour to train full-time between the Indian Wells, Calif., tournament and the clay season, so he will not be playing the Sony, set for March 19-31.
Because of his longevity in the game, his age (31) and the fact he has played 600 matches, Federer is exempt under an ATP Tour rule from committing to a certain number of events. He chose to drop Key Biscayne and Monte Carlo from his schedule this year because he felt
last year he didn’t have enough time to train and build in family vacation time.
“We are disappointed for our fans that Roger will not be attending this year event,” tournament director Adam Barrett said. “He is a
tremendous ambassador for the game and we hope to see him here in Miami next year. We are still looking forward to a tremendous two
weeks of tennis with nine of the top-10 ranked men including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal, and all 10 of
the top-ranked women including Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.”
Federer’s longtime agent Tony Godsick flatly denied suggestions that his and Federer’s split from the IMG agency had to do with Federer’s
decision. IMG owns the Sony Open.
“There is not one shred of truth to that,” Godsick said Thursday. “He also pulled out of the Monte Carlo event, even though the title
sponsor is Rolex and Roger is a spokesman for Rolex. It was only about timing. If Indian Wells and the Sony switched dates tomorrow, he’d
play Sony. He has always loved Miami.”