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Indian Wells return in sight for Federer

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Originally published on: 05/03/10 15:25

Roger Federer gave the strongest indication yet that he will play the year’s first Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, which starts in just over a week’s time.

The world No.1, who missed the Barclays Championships in Dubai with a lung infection, has been given the all-clear by doctors in Switzerland at the weekend.

“I am feeling really good again,” he wrote on his official website, “and I was happy to hear from my doctor today that I have the green light to start working out again so I plan to try and play in Indian Wells next week.”

While the news does not confirm Federer’s participation, it puts to rest rumours that the Swiss had already informed the California event’s organisers of his withdrawal.

Federer is expected to be joined by defending champion Rafael Nadal, himself returning to action after an injury lay-off since limping out of the Australian Open midway through his quarter-final match with Andy Murray.

Both are expected to play in a “Hit for Haiti II” charity match in the run up to the event, along with Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

But world No.2 Dinara Safina has withdrawn from Indian Wells as the persistent back injury that has hampered her for the past few months continues to keep her from a competitive return.

The Russian has not played since retiring injured during her fourth-round match against Maria Kirilenko at the Australian Open.

“Unfortunately, I will not be able to play in Indian Wells this year because of the back injury that’s been bothering me since the end of last season,” she said on her official site.

She has now pushed her return date back to the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, set to start March 23.

Carlos Moya, David Nalbandian and Justine Henin have received wildcards into the main draw in Indian Wells.

Robby Ginepri and 17-year-old American Ryan Harrison have also received wildcards into the men’s event, while Americans Christina McHale, Alexa Glatch and Bethanie Mattek-Sands are joined by Alicia Molik, Eleni Daniilidou, Tamira Paszek, and rising star Alja Tomljanovic.

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