Roger Federer said having Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back creates too much of a break between the two events, leading to his decision not to play the Miami Open. Both are 10-day events for the men, meaning there are four days between the Indian Wells final and the start of the first round at Miami, with the top players getting first-round byes.
"The week in between Indian Wells and Miami is always a wasted week—in my opinion—for me," he said, speaking to press at Indian Wells, "So I'd rather use that for some more time off, some more practice, maybe play another tournament."
Federer has signed up for four clay events before the French Open, adding the 250 event in Istanbul to previously announced events in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. Players typically also receive appearance payments at 250 events, with Federer frequently commanding a million or more for such tournaments.
"Plus I've played Miami so many times, so that's just the one I decided to skip," he said. "And substituted with Istanbul, a city I've never been to, a country I've never been to, so I just thought it would be a nice mix-up."
Federer said he had no objection to 10-day tournaments, but the time in between the two Masters events was a bigger issue for players who lose in the first round or those who do not go deep into the event.
"But when it's back-to-back 10 days, there is a lot of time that gets wasted," he said. "It's a long break 'till the first round in Miami, and let's say you don't play well again, you've sort of wasted a month, nothing happened. So I've never been a huge fan of the back-to-back 10-day events, but it's been like this for a long, long time. That's the only way I ever knew it."
Things are unlikely to change, he added, especially since the two are popular tournaments. "It's fine. They're very successful tournaments, they're very well run and organized," he said. "As you can see, the players love coming here, as long as it's working well, and it's successful and the fans enjoy it and the players do [too], nothing needs to be changed."