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Roger Federer elected to rule himself out of the running for the Indian Wells-Miami double (he’s won it twice, fyi) before it even began, announcing in February that he’d be skipping Miami this year, and instead playing a clay-court event in Istanbul, which begins April 27.

Read Kamakshi Tandon's Article on this Subject Here

The 17-time Grand Slam champion has failed to reach the semifinals in Miami in all but two of his appearances since his back-to-back titles there in 2005 and 2006 (he also smashed a racquet rather boisterously in 2009 during a semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic, but we don’t need to know about that, do we?), but Federer isn’t skipping Miami because the draw hasn’t been kind to him or because he doesn’t like playing there. His decision, he says, is simply a matter of efficiency.

"The week in between Indian Wells and Miami is always a wasted week—in my opinion—for me," he said, according to Kamakshi Tandon of, "So I'd rather use that for some more time off, some more practice, maybe play another tournament."

Federer says that losing early at Indian Wells can mean waiting around a week to get started in Miami. Even if he reaches the final at Indian Wells, he still would likely wait five days to get started in his next event. It’s time that Federer, 33, doesn’t want to spend waiting. These things happen when we get older, right?

"It's a long break 'till the first round in Miami, and let's say you don't play well again, you've sort of wasted a month, nothing happened,” he said, according to Tandon. “So I've never been a huge fan of the back-to-back 10-day events, but it's been like this for a long, long time. That's the only way I ever knew it."

This rationale, combined with Federer’s desire to visit hidden geographic and cultural gems to keep his interest piqued (see Christopher Clarey’s NYT article for more on that) has led to Federer’s decision.

“I've played Miami so many times, so that's just the one I decided to skip," he said. "And substituted with Istanbul, a city I've never been to, a country I've never been to, so I just thought it would be a nice mix-up."