World number two and two-time Rogers Cup champion Roger Federer has withdrawn from this years edition of the event in Toronto which starts on August 6th, with the Swiss pulling out to make sure he is fully fresh for an attempt at a 21st Grand Slam title at the US Open three weeks later.
Federer, who won the title twice in 2004 and 2006 in Toronto, lost in the final in Montreal last year to Alexander Zverev and was previously on the entry list for this years tournament, though has made the fairly unsurprising move to withdraw. The Swiss has been careful with his scheduling over the past few seasons as he looks to maximise his chances of winning big titles during his final years on tour, notably skipping the entire clay court season in the past two years, and has now decided to only play one warm-up tournament prior to the final slam of the year- the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Federer looks to head to New York fresh and fully fit
Last season, the former world number one reached the final at the Rogers Cup before withdrawing from Cincinnati, later reaching the last eight at Flushing Meadows, though evidently he has decided this year to take further time off following the grass court season.
In a statement released through social media, Federer commented that he was “so disappointed” not to play in Toronto, adding how he had enjoyed playing in Montreal last year and in front of Canadian fans in general, but highlighted that scheduling “is key to my longevity moving forward.” The 20-time Grand Slam champion added that he was “sorry” to miss the tournament and wished it every success.
Despite Federer’s withdrawal, there is still naturally a very strong field for what will be the first Masters 1000 event for well over two months. The event will be headlined by world number one Rafael Nadal, with defending champion Alexander Zverev, Juan Martin del Potro, and Kevin Anderson set to be the top four seeds. Furthermore, Novak Djokovic will be in action for the first time since his Wimbledon victory, whilst there is a chance that Andy Murray could continue his comeback from injury.