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Federer: Back not a handicap

2009-03-26 08:56

Miami - World number two Roger Federer says his back could be better, but isn't a serious hindrance as he continues his pursuit of a first ATP title of 2009.

"The back is OK," Federer said as he geared up to open his campaign at the second Masters 1000 tournament of the season here. "I still wish it was better, but it's not really handicapping me even when I'm playing."

Federer took six weeks off after falling to world number one Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open on February 1.

He made his return at the first Masters 1000 tournament of the season in Indian Wells, California, last week.

Britain's Andy Murray, ranked number four in the world, beat Federer in three sets in the semi-finals at Indian Wells.

"I just didn't play a great match against Andy," Federer said. "But the tournament was OK. At least I had the match on my racquet when I played Andy, whereas last year when I lost to Fish, I didn't have that much control.

"I haven't played in awhile, so it was a decent comeback," he said of his California campaign.

Federer will open his Miami bid with a second-round clash with American Kevin Kim.

Kim advanced Wednesday when his first-round opponent, France's Michael Llodra retired after winning the first set because of a painful groin strain.

SAPA