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Tennis: Nishikori pulls out of Rome Masters, Federer opts to play

Published on May 13, 2014 1:35 AM
Kei Nishikori of Japan controls the ball during the Madrid Open final tennis match against Rafael Nadal of Spain May 11, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

ROME (AFP) - In-form Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori withdrew as expected from the Rome Masters on Monday with the lower back complaint which forced him to pull out in the third set of Sunday's Madrid final with Rafael Nadal.

However, in a boost to the organisers Roger Federer, who missed the majority of the Madrid Masters after his wife gave birth to twin boys last Tuesday, decided to play in the Masters event which he has never won.

"Oh and btw ciao tutti, I just arrived in bella Italia! Looking forward to Rome," the Swiss tweeted after a mid-day arrival in the Italian capital.

Federer hit the practice courts to begin preparations for a second-round match against French journeyman Jeremy Chardy, while Nadal also arrived to prepare his bid for an eighth title at the Foro Italico.

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