Roger Federer withdraws from Madrid Open 10:26 AM ET : ESPN.com news services Roger Federer will not play in this week's Madrid Open due to a back injury. The third-ranked Federer suffered the injury during practice Saturday and is withdrawing as a precaution. He described the back injury as "normal back things I've had in past." "I'm OK with it," Federer told reporters. "At least I know what it is." The 35-year-old Federer, a three-time winner in Madrid, had been a late addition to the field this week. The tournament was not originally on his schedule, but the former No. 1 decided to include it as part of his preparations for the French Open in three weeks. He appeared fine in practice on Saturday but canceled his media appearance Sunday and had not been back to the courts, raising doubts about his participation. Federer has played in only three events this season. He missed three months earlier this year after undergoing knee surgery following the Australian Open. He is another high-profile name to drop out of the Madrid tournament. On Friday, Serena Williams announced that she would not play in the tournament because of illness. "I'd rather play it safe and get ready for Rome," Federer said. "If I can't play Rome, it's not the end of the world, but hopefully I'll get to play." Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, defending champion Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka remain in the men's draw. Information from The Associated Press and the Press Association contributed to this report.