Monday, May 02, 2016

Roger Federer out of Mutua Madrid Open due to back injury, hopes to play Rome

Just a few days after world no. 3 Federer confirmed he would be playing the Mutua Madrid Open, also known as the Madrid Masters, he announced in a press conference on Monday that due to a back injury he was withdrawing from the event.

The back injury was reportedly sustained during a practice session on Saturday and Federer said it was not as serious as the problem he had with his back before the Davis Cup final in 2014, which caused him to pull out of the World Tour Finals before the final against Novak Djokovic.

Federer described the back injury as ‘[n]ormal back things I've had in past’ and said: ‘I'm okay with it, at least I know what it is.’

Federer has played just three events in 2016 so far due to a series of blows to his physical fitness. After reaching the final of the Brisbane International and the semifinals of the Australian Open in January, Federer pulled out of scheduled February tournaments in Rotterdam and Dubai due to a torn meniscus, a knee injury incurred while running a bath for his daughters.

Federer underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in early February and although the surgery was successful and he initially planned to return to competition at the Indian Wells Masters in March, he postponed his return to give himself more time to rehab the knee.

Planning to play the Miami Masters instead, Federer then withdrew from that event due to illness.

Although his original tentative schedule for 2016 indicated that he wouldn’t play any clay-court events, or very few, in the lead-up to the French Open, Federer entered the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters where he reached the quarterfinals before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and was pleased with how well his knee held up.

Federer then confirmed a few days ago that he would be playing the Mutua Madrid Open, which he won in 2006, 2009 and 2012. But he postponed a scheduled press conference on Sunday and did not show up for practices on Sunday and Monday before announcing his withdrawal on Monday afternoon.

‘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.’

The Rome Masters, also known as the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, begins on Sunday 8 May.

‘I was always going to wait for Madrid's result to decide about Rome but now Rome is a goal. Let's see how my body reacts,’ Federer said.

Federer, who was due to play either Nicolas Mahut or Joao Sousa in the second round in Madrid after a first-round bye, was projected to meet Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. Dominic Thiem, Benoit Paire and David Goffin are also in that section of the draw. Federer will be replaced with a lucky loser.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, defending champion Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are all playing the Madrid Masters this week and have yet to play their first matches. 

Mr. Federer is having a run of bad luck at the moment :(.  Get well soon Roger!.

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