Google Down the Line!: Fed withdraws from Dubai and Davis Cup with recurring back injury

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fed withdraws from Dubai and Davis Cup with recurring back injury

Roger Federer will not be competing in Dubai or Switzerland's Davis Cup tie against the US citing the back injury that forced him out of the Paris Masters last fall.

The 13-time Grand Slammer made the annoucement via his website today:

Dear Fans,

Today I am disappointed to announce that I am withdrawing from both Dubai and the Davis Cup tie in the United States. This was a hard decision to make as I am missing not only one of my favorite events on tour in Dubai but I am also missing out on an opportunity to help my country try and move on to the next round of Davis Cup. After injuring my back last fall, I did not have enough time to strengthen it completely. As a precautionary measure, I will use the next few weeks to make sure the back injury is fully rehabilitated and I am ready for the rest of the 2009 season.

As always, thanks for your continued support.
You know it's hard to garner anything out of these prepared statements besides what they want you to hear. Is it really the back injury or does Fed need more time away after the crushing loss in Oz?

If the explanation is truly the back, then it could be a sign that the injury is developing into something chronic (and they usually do.) Fed has been very healthy throughout his career and has never really had a recurring injury so this could throw him off a bit. He may want to give himself more time to recover and get fit before tennis' March Madness begins.

Fed may also be looking for a mental break, however, after the Aussie Open devastation to Rafael Nadal. It seemed pretty obvious to everyone watching he was a broken baller.

I guess we'll see...

(via GOTOTENNIS, image via Getty)


  1. I think it's psychosomatic. Don't they say that mental problems affect the muscles in the back?

  2. @HOOPLA: hahahahah thank you for making me laugh!
    Yeah, it can be psychosomatic, to make him think his pain is bigger then it actually is, but I'm pretty sure that he a)doesn't have mental problems, he has cofidence when playing Rafa issues, b) he would need psychologist to make him think clear, not psychiatrist.

    I just think it's weird to come up with that now, cause he wasn't talking about any injury during Aussie, and I'm not quite understanding his explanation, why he brings up last fall, it's last fall, and you were fine from yor own mouth since then....well, as you Rich said, we'll see, it will all be pure math once he gets back, either you win, or you don't, we'll see.

  3. Tessa that's what recurring injuries are like, they go away and then reappear. Also, I think this is truly about the injury. Roger loves Dubai and he was really excited about the Davis cup tie, he probably withdrew because he's injured. I hope it doesn't come back again and that he gets all better and wins another Wimbledon.

  4. Can someone please remind me as to when was he sidelined with this injry last fall?

  5. Narik, he was sidelined with the back injury in Paris (November 08). He had to pull out of his quarterfinal match against Blake.

  6. To be perfectly honest, I don't think this new development has anything to do with the loss to Rafa. You rarely see Federer pull out of a tournament after a loss at a Grand Slam (looking back at Roland Garros, AO etc). I'm not saying that this loss hasn't affected him, it definitely has(re: breakdown at trophy presentation), but generally speaking, Federer has more integrity when it comes to something like this. He isn't the type of player to back out of a tournament just because of a previous loss.

    I think it actually is the back that is causing him to pull out. Whether or not the injury has actually recurred or it is just a precautionary measure is unknown. But, looking back at Australian Open, Federer did not serve at his best all tournament. He served a lot of double faults throughout the tournament, much more than his norm, and his serve did not have the pace or accuracy that we normally associate with him.

    Perhaps this back injury could explain the sudden drop in the quality of his serve? If so, I hope this additional rest can heal the injury once and for all.

  7. Jennifer:

    It's true Fed rarely pulls out of a tourneys after Slams. In fact, he rarely pulls out of tourneys at all. But this loss, at least from the outside, was his most devastating. The next time he steps foot on a tennis court will be the first time he does since the Oz final. I think this is a new situation.

    As I mentioned, it's hard to get anything out of this statement: was he injured this whole time (even during Oz)? Has he re-injured it?? He doesn't completely go either way. He says he "didn't have time to strengthen it completely" and then was it re-injured because of that reason???

    It was striking to me because he's never had to deal with a recurring injury so to hear him say it was something from last season is a bit suspicious.

    Was his back effecting his serving in Oz? Who knows. He wasn't serving confidently, this we know. But that could've been a mental issue just as much as anything else.

  8. WHAT?!? I am soooo upset! I am going to the Davis Cup match in Birmingham and I must say the swing factor in my going was ROG! I guess as a Fed-o-phile I have to support his decision, but I can still be pouty about it :(

  9. AH! It makes me sad. We've been so spoiled by having both Roger and Rafa relatively injury free (they've had their issues, of course, but they're hardly the Williams sisters in terms of injuries.)
    Now we have an injured Fed (and yes, these back injuries can be chronic a la Dent and Agassi), an injured Nadal (he says it should be okay, but I worry), an oft injured Murray, and a iffy-fitness-wise Djokovic. Wahhhhh!

  10. Erin, I feel your pain and I'm only planning to watch on Tennis Channel! But the tie should still be fun - you'll get all the great American guys and Stan "the man" Wawrinka. ;)

  11. Federer's recent decision seems to be what he does best - which is making a beneficial scheduling plan. He has to be concentrated on his preparation for the long haul which are the big spring tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, the clay season, and Wimbledon, and US Open. He definitely wants a real off-season break to strengthen his back, be all-around fit, mentality fresh and confident, and focused on the what in my opinion is the real ATP tennis season starting in Indian Wells to concluding at the US Open. Playing catchup was a major problem for Fed last year (due to mononucleosis and lack of practice), and I think he is trying to prevent that from happening for 2009.

  12. hmmm very curious. since he just said this last week:

    who really knows. hope he's okay.

  13. This is the mono of 2009.


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