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Federer: Family, Schedule Prompted ATP Cup Withdrawal

Family obligations, a crammed exhibition schedule and buddy Stan Wawrinka's departure are the primary reasons Roger Federer pulled out of the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia.

Meeting the media in London ahead of the Nitto ATP Finals, Federer said he initially played to launch his 2020 season playing the ATP in Australia.

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However, his desire to spend time with this family, a busy offseason exhibition schedule and Wawrinka's withdrawal compelled the 38-year-old Swiss to reverse course. Federer is scheduled to play five South American exhibitions the week after the ATP Finals. 

“When we had to sign up for the ATP Cup it was shortly after Wimbledon and it was logical to play the first week,” Federer told the media in London. “The South America exhibition tour was a long time in scheduling. I couldn’t do it because of my knee, because of the children ... it was going to be too much.

"South America was a priority for me. Then, when I realized Stan [Wawrinka] wasn’t going to play [the ATP Team Cup], I decided I’d rather stay with my family and make the Australian Open a priority."

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion is scheduled to play rival Rafael Nadal in a South African exhibition on February 7th after the Australian Open. Federer said given his commitment to playing the 2020 Roland Garros and Tokyo Olympic Games in July, he felt "something had to give" in his calendar and that something was the ATP Cup.

“I’ve got a dream match with Rafa, and have been trying to get that date for the last two years," Federer said. "Something had to give. That was the ATP Cup. It wasn’t that level of importance for me.

"My decision was also connected to announcing I would play in the Olympics. We try to come up with a schedule for the kids. I don’t think it’s contradictory at all.”

Photo credit: US Open Facebook