Ailing top-seed tennis player Roger Federer pulled out of the $2 million ATP Dubai Open due to a lung infection, tournament officials said Sunday.
"He has got a lung infection," said ATP circuit official Stephen Duckett. "He saw a doctor and he was advised not to play for a fortnight (two weeks)."
According to the ATP's website Federer, who picked up the infection last week, was expected to return in the ATP World Tour Masters at Indian Wells, California in March.
Federer, a four time Dubai champion, was due to appear for his first tournament since beating Andy Murray to win his fourth Australian Open on Jan. 31.
That was the Swiss ace's 16th Grand Slam and it secured him the top ranking for a 268th week.
The victory in Melbourne ensured the 28-year-old kicked off the new season firmly ensconced at the top after winning Wimbledon and the French Open last year.
Federer was due to play Julien Benneteau of France in the first round in Dubai with a potential date with Murray in the semi-finals.
Czech Jan Hernych, who fell in the final round of qualifying, becomes a lucky loser in the main draw, while Spaniard Tommy Robredo takes Federer's place at the top of the draw and was to play Benneteau on Monday.