Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball to Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Kamran Jebreili
February 23, 2015

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Roger Federer is skipping the Davis Cup this year after leading Switzerland to its first title in 2014.

Federer played the entire Davis Cup season last year, with Switzerland beating France 3-1 in the final. The Davis Cup was the only major competition the 17-time Grand Slam champion had not won.

Federer won't be in the lineup when Switzerland opens defense of the title in Belgium on March 6-8. And Federer said he has no plans to play Davis Cup the rest of the year either.

''It wasn't a difficult decision,'' the 33-year-old Federer said Monday at the Dubai tournament. ''I have played for so long, and I think by winning it I can finally do whatever I please, to be quite honest.''

The Swiss team in Belgium will also be without 2013 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka.

Federer has played in 26 Davis Cup ties since 1999 for an overall 50-17 win-loss record.

''It's been a big burden for me throughout my career and one of the things that have caused more difficulties in my life than many other things, I must say,'' Federer said.

''I always feel there is so much guilt put on you from the federation or from the ITF more so than anybody else. So I'm happy I was able to finally tick that off and do it altogether.''

Federer said his decision to dedicate himself to the 2014 Davis Cup campaign was more for his teammates than himself.

''I totally did it for the boys more than for me, to be quite honest,'' he said. ''I just really wanted Michael (Lammer) and Marco (Chiudinelli) and Stan to get it because they deserve it. So for me, this year, it was very clear that I was not going to play.''

While the Davis Cup is not in Federer's plans, Wawrinka has not decided on whether to play later in the year.

''I hope that Stan is going to play, next round or September or whatever it's going to be to keep us in the World Group,'' Federer said. ''Who knows? You never know if they can win it without us, as well. It's an opportunity, but clearly we are not the favorites now playing against Belgium.''

Federer, however, could have to show up for one more Davis Cup tie in the next two years in order to qualify directly for the Swiss Olympic team for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

ITF rules state that a player must compete in Davis Cup for his country once in the season leading up to or in the Olympic year to be eligible to compete at the games.

Federer could also be offered a wild card entry into the Olympic tournament.

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