Uh Oh, Does Roger Federer Have A Bad Back?
by Tom Gainey | January 5th, 2012, 3:12 pm
  • 101 Comments

Roger Federer won today in three sets over Andrea Seppi in the Doha quarterfinals. But the news isn’t all good.

According to Swiss journalist Rene Stauffer (who also wrote a book about Roger), Federer was suffering from a bad back today that very nearly prevented him from even taking the court.

Stauffer tweeted: “Federer has a bad back: ‘I wasn’t sure if i was going to play ag Seppi’, he revealed in Doha. It happened ag Zemlja (Wednesday).”

Federer had back troubles in the past so there is cause for concern. And he is 30.

Federer had dominated Seppi now 8-0 in their career series, but today was the first time the Italian had ever managed a set.

Also, we are not even a week into the season and already the injuries are really piling up with Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Serena Williams and now Federer nursing ailments.

Federer is scheduled to play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals. If Roger’s back is that bad will the match even happen tomorrow?


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101 Comments for Uh Oh, Does Roger Federer Have A Bad Back?

Deborah Says:

Maybe we can drop the “Federer is never injured” narrative. He has played with a bad back before but I hope he withdraws. Maintaining that record of no withdrawals and one walkover in 800+ matches isn’t worth it.


shelly Says:

Would much rather see him withdraw. Against Tsonga and with a bad back, it’s just not worth it IMO. Far too close to the AO. Anyways Roger’s been a great judge of his body so he’ll know what to do.


skeezerweezer Says:

Yeah his journalist said it happened in the 2nd rd. But would prefer to hear it from a direct source, like Fed or the coach. I second the motion he should call it a day and rehab if that is what it is. The season is just starting, and you don’t want to be nursing a back issue through it.

On the “Fed is never injured” topic, if he gets hurt here and there from here on out to the end of his career he would still have done waaaaayy better than most. He has had a great career with the Injury thing all things considered. Take it easy Fed!


Bailey Says:

That would explain the lack of speed his first seves had compared to normal. Hope he gets fit in time for AO or his chances will be really small.


carlo Says:

That explains what I was watching. Federer wasn’t able to run, his movement was very restricted, and his serving guarded. I was hoping he was distracted, not injured.

Have to feel for Seppi, unable to go through to the semi-final v an ailing Federer.


Bailey Says:

@skeezerweezer

Fed mentioned it in an swiss interview.
http://blogs.tennis.com/tennisworld/2012/01/ok/comments/page/6/#comments


Tom Gainey Says:

Thanks Bailey. Here is the Google translation:

20th Win in a row. However, the 6:3, 5:7, 6:4 in the quarter-final in Doha against the South Tyrolean Andreas Seppi (ATP 38) is for Roger Federer is anything but business as usual. While paging he hardly sits down, is already far each before the “Time” call by the referee to the baseline. He hardly ever strikes on more than 190 km / hr. And he lost in eight games for the first time a set against Seppi. In an interview with the 30-year-old Blick.ch delivers the Swiss explanation for. “In the match on Wednesday has closed my back suddenly ‘ he says. A severe spasm. Actually, he would have liked a day off, but that is not possible in Doha, because the final on Saturday on the schedule. With a lot of massage he gets his back up so far that he can play against Seppi. ” I’m glad “that I could play at all , says Federer. “.’m And almost surprised that I could get” Still soothes the Basel: “There is fortunately a muscular problem, nothing really bad.” is why he probably is in the semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga try (ATP 6). “I have not played against Seppi, and then give up tomorrow ‘, is Federer’s fighting spirit. “There is also a small chance against Federer.”


alison hodge Says:

i think the sensible thing would be for roger to withdraw against tsonga,although it is out of character for him i know,but i think it would be sensible especially with the ao just around the corner,any sensible fan of the game in general, would only have it in his best interests,and surely no one would think any the less of him.


steve-o Says:

It depends on what kind of back issues he’s got.

During his first successful Wimbledon title run, he had a blocked back against Lopez. He played in pain but managed to win that match and then ultimately the title.

It could just be soreness, in which case it’s probably not enough to warrant his withdrawal.

He knows better than anyone what’s going on with his own body. If he risks long-term damage, he’ll pull out. Otherwise I see no reason he can’t continue.


skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Bailey & Tom


grendel Says:

I was shocked to hear Seppi had never taken a set off Federer – I was sure he’d run him really close. The last encounter did go to 2 close tiebreaks, perhaps I was thinking of that. Memory plays funny tricks, or mine does anyway but, I do remember thinking (or think I remember thinking) that Federer was having inordinate difficulty in putting Seppi away. Good player, Seppi – just doesn’t believe in himself sufficiently.


Stella Says:

Give Tsonga the match and concentrate on AO Roger!!!


Drake Says:

One thing is for sure though if he steps oncourt tomorrow he will finsh the match, no matter how much pain he’s in. I hope we won’t see a repeat of that RR match agains murray a couple of year ago.


Skorocel Says:

Why is the tourney in Doha only a 6-day event instead of the usual 7? Semifinals on Friday & then final on Saturday seems a bit weird… As far as I remember, such tournaments (i.e. “6-day ones”) are usually held just before the slams, so that the finalists can have a 1 day of rest “bonus” before the big one, but I guess there’s still 1 week in between Doha and AO, isn’t it? Not particularly good for Fed…


Thangs Says:

@Skorocel May be Friday/Saturdays are holidays in Doha.


dari Says:

Best to Roger in recovery. Play or not- just hope he is well by AO! get well Rog


van orten Says:

Spasm cold back cuz of windy conditions…dont panic folks..he ll be fine


dari Says:

Good word van orten.
Hoping for blazing hot Aussie open :)


van orten Says:

lets hope for hotter nights than last year ;-)


Humble Rafa Says:

Roger won’t withdraw, neither will I. Too much $$$ at stake.

7 digits worth!


Wog boy Says:

Mebourne weather is Melbourne weather, all four seasons in one hour. This summer is coldest one in last 60-70 years, it must be that global warming:-) we hardly have any in Sydney, so far. Until 15th it is going to be pretty cold and raining in Melbourne, and we will see after, I hope it is going to stay cold, I just realise I bought tickets on sunny side not in shade of Rod Laver Arena. What a bu..er.


van orten Says:

Well then lets Hope for lots of rain and indoor night sessions;-) would that even count as indoors? I have an idea who could benifit if so!!!


van orten Says:

benefit of course


Kimmi Says:

scratch my question on the other thread.

hope it is not too serious. get well rog.


GOAT Fed Says:

Injury excuses are generally reserved for Rafa and Nole


Thangs Says:

If it is gonna be cold climate, Nole will not retire or loose the match…Seems stars are still aligned on his favour.


jane Says:

Maybe the egg controls the weather too, ha ha ha ha. ;)


jamie Says:

Thangs Says:
If it is gonna be cold climate, Nole will not retire or loose the match…Seems stars are still aligned on his favour.

_________________________

You betcha.


jane Says:

Muzza is cruising, 2 breaks up versus Baggy already.


jane Says:

But worth noting Baggy is serving at 30% first serves against one of the best returners in the atp.


racquet Says:

Murray is on fire! Baggy not sure what to do. No walkabouts please.


jane Says:

Baggy has gotten up to a whopping 42% first serves now, whereas Muzza has come down out of the clouds some. At one point he was at 80% firsts, but he is down to 58% now. However, his returning is just far superior. He should win this in straights.


racquet Says:

Yep, I agree. Baggy just looks bewildered, Andy keeping the pressure on constantly. I’m very happy to see this style of play from him.


skeezerweezer Says:

Wog boy,

U got tickets? Awesome. expect a full report up here. Yeah we have weird stuff here in Cali. Winter started some time ago and no rain now or forecasted, ugh!

Glad to here Murray is playing well. Match over?


racquet Says:

Not over yet, 6-2 4-2.


racquet Says:

An outrageous rally which Andy had no business winning. It’ll be a hot shot feature for sure.


jane Says:

Murray gets a strong win methinks! 6-2, 6-2.


racquet Says:

Andy wins 6-2 6-2! Worth staying up for. Poor Baggy but Andy was in the zone.


carlo Says:

Great tennis from Andy! I like Baghdatis but Murray was brilliant.


jane Says:

Tomic leading Istomin atm, and Woz is about to play Kvitova at the Hopman!!


Wog boy Says:

Andy in two against Tomic, I don’t see a reason for any other result.
Skeezer, yes I am going down for QF only, day and night sesion, I cannot stay longer due to my work. I always do QF, you can see best of both. All matches are played at Rod Laver Arena and I love it. Start 11am until it finishes, walk around little bit, watching doubles, juniors, food&drink and back to Rod Laver and then back to hotel via few PUBS :-)
you cannot ask for more. Cheers.


jane Says:

Lucky you Wog Boy. I am jealous!


Wog boy Says:

Jane, what are you doing so late:) Whats the time overthere.


jane Says:

It’s only 10:49 for me, as I am on Pacific time. :) Not too late.


jane Says:

Woz just won the second set. She almost snatched the first set too. Twice Kvitova was up a break, and both times Woz came back, including when Petra was serving for the set, to force a tiebreak. And then Woz was up a mini break in the tiebreak but
Petra got it together and too, set one. I have no idea who will win the third at this point…


Michael Says:

Is this News just a tweet or it has come from the Team of Federer ? I am not sure. Alas, the evil eyes have hit Federer who were seeing him with envy looking at his fitness level.


margot Says:

Wog boy: here in gale lashed, endless rain UK, after reading your schedule for the AO I turned a very unseemly shade of green….sounds brilliant :)
Glad Andy’s playing better but not sure he’ll do and dust Tomic in two. Didn’t Tomic cause all sorts of problems for Nole?


steve-o Says:

Kvitova has prevailed, as I was hoping.


Wog boy Says:

Margot, I watched Tomic first round against Benn…( Frenchman) and he gifted victory to Tomic in third set. Against Istomin good game , but that is about it. Maybe it is me but I don’t see spark in Tomic’s game like all true shampions are shoving in his age, mind you he has been around 2-3 years. If Andy plays his game , mix it up, change the pace i really don’t see how Tomic can win single set. If Andy stays on baseline it is diferent story, Tomic moves nicely on baseline, very good BH , solid FH, pretty ordinary serve for a big boy, sh.t scared of coming to the net like as it is an electric fence. He hits now with more spin and is more matured then before, but tends to spray balls every now and then. As I said before the only one who can stop Andy winnig Brisbane is Andy himself.
I am writing this and checking my roast meat in owen for tomorrow, Christmas Day for chuches that folow the Julian calendar as mine does. Cheers


Wog boy Says:

Few spelling mistakes, as usualy, sorry I hope it does make sence what I wrote:)
Blame it on plum brandy.


S Bizaki Says:

Very sorry about Federer’s back problem. I certainly hope massages will get this “under control”, shall we say, for a couple of days.

I also certainly hope that Federer being involved this time around, it will stop people making forever the same thoughless, stupid and unfair comments about “excuses”, “preemptive moves”, etc. etc., ad nauseam, when players (Nadal, in particular) happen to mention their injuries in interviews.

Damn, this is the 1st week of the 2012 season, and we already have (and this is only the ones I’ve read about…) acknowledged injury issues with Sharapova, Nadal, Serena, Federer, Clijsters…


dari Says:

Sounds like a dream day for tennis, Wog boy! Hope to hear your report!


carlo Says:

Wog boy-

Benneteau “gifted victory to Tomic in third set.” I agree. Old Benneteau was cramping in the third set. Benneteau would have needed to win the match in two sets to win. Tomic put on a fine display of shot-making. Then, Istomin was no easy win.

Tomic is only just 19. He’s the youngster, the real baby in the top 40 (he’ll be inside top 40 on Monday). He’s not Becker or Nadal but he is something special, I think. That said, I also agree with you that Tomic probably won’t get a set off Murray. Interesting to think about 5 years from now when Tomic will only be 24, Murray and Djokovic pushing 30; and Federer perhaps playing Champions tour.

Meanwhile, Sela is troubling Raonic in Chennai. 1st set tie-break. I expected Milos to breeze through, but no.


Wog boy Says:

Margot, Lendl is going to be in Andys box tomorrow. Good luck to both of them.


Wog boy Says:

Carlo, I hope you are right about Tomic, but he plays one tournamet good and bombs out next two (Shanghai, Paris ..), he might also pay price for father( coach)- son relationship, or maybe not , we will see.


carlo Says:

After watching Nishikori (older by 2-3 yrs); Raonic, 22; Dimitrov, will be 21, and baby Tomic; I like Tomic and Dimitrov the best. Dimitrov has been wonderful playing Hopman Cup.

These guys are the future, Wog boy. Djokovic and Murray are the present. I guess I have to add Nadal and Federer in the present too. But when a GS is coming, I can’t think past Murray!


S Bizaki Says:

Either Federer’s back problem is more serious than he first thought, or he has chosen the preventive and cautious option: in any case, Federer just withdrew from the Doha tournament. Tsonga through to the final against either Nadal or Monfils.


carlo Says:

Another thing, Wog boy: Tomic has been growing into his body hasn’t he? Tomic was saying in an interview that he put on 3kg – he is looking buff. And I notice on his ATP he’s grown; up to 1.96 cm now.

Milos through to semi’s in Chennai!


Wog boy Says:

@dari:

Two days, not one day, both QF days, even better :)
You will hear from me , but my knowledge is limited , English too, don’t expect something special, please.


carlo Says:

Your posts are very easy to read Wog boy. What a great experience for you going to AO!


van orten Says:

walk over for tsonga !!!!!!!


carlo Says:

Tsonga in the final!


Wog boy Says:

Carlo, Delpo is not finished yet, and I don’t think Novak, Rafa and Andy are going to give their spots in next couple of years and we might see some other new young guns bursting on the scene and spoiling the party to one you mentioned, just thinkig not that I am good at that.
BTW, Tomic is going to have 12000 Aussies with him tomorrow. Good test for Andy.
Tomic did a lot of hard yards to get some strenght including training with his Gold Coast rugby team.


margot Says:

Wog boy: thank you for good wishes for Andy and Ivan The Terrible. If they can hit it off, am sure it is just what Andy needs. I’m putting my faith in ITT to sort out Andy’s second serve, then LOOK OUT! :)
Have a fabulous Christmas too. :)


margot Says:

PS Carlo: Tomic and Dimitrov are my favourites too. They are the future and it’s looking bright.


Humble Rafa Says:

The Arrongant One is injured.
Cute Mom Clisters is injured.
Scary Lady Williams is injured.
Mr Lady Forehand is injured
Your humble highness ofcourse suffers from many injuries


majurej Says:

That explains the three sets and his match play against Seppi. Health is the most important thing! Take care of that back and remember to……COME ONNNN!!!! See you in Australia.


majurej Says:

It was enjoyable to watch the exhibition with Stefan Edberg against
Tsonga. I haven’t seen Stefan in years and I’m glad Jo was nice to him so it wasn’t a total loss.


dari Says:

Two even better than one, Wog boy. I won’t expect much, I wouldn’t give that great of a report and English is my first language! There’s just a lot of hub bub for me when I go to these thongs and its hard to report clearly!
Anyway, best in recover to The Fed after pulling out, it is a wise decision and hope he gets fully recovered in the next ten days!!


jane Says:

Is Rafa defending Doha or was Fed? Can’t remember. Might be a tough break for Roger who was hoping to start strong. I guess it may be precautionary ahead of the AO. Anyone read anything about the injury?

Wog Boy I agree with you re: Murray and Brisbane. I don’t think the field there should stop him. He should win it all. I also agree that Tomic’s serve could be stronger.

I watched Dimitrov at Hopman vs Berdych though I missed the last set. He did tend to play too defensively at times but what I saw was very enjoyable. Definitely a talented guy. I’ve said before that his match against Tsonga at Wimbledon was one of the most memorable of 2011, and being a Nole fan, there were a lot for me. ;)


Federer, Clijsters Withdraw: What A Drag It Is Getting Old Says:

[...] for just the second time in his career Roger Federer had to withdrew before a match because of a back injury he first sustained on Wednesday in a win over Grega [...]


jamie Says:

Federer will not win the AO, according to my friend the psychic.

Jupiter and Uranus are shifting gears and this is impacting his natal Mercury, Sun, Saturn and Jupiter negatively.

He is screwed.


Krishna Says:

jamie: Who does the psychic predict to win the AO? for both men’s and women’s..


jamie Says:

She will do the astrological charts of all the top players when the AO begins.

She already had done Federer’s chart because she is his fan.

As soon as she does the other charts I will tell you.

She does not follow WTA so don’t ask…

Some weeks ago she told me Djokovic had a great chart for January but she has to do all the charts and analyze them.


Krishna Says:

Sweet..! let me know..I am very interested..thanks :)


Wog boy Says:

@jami:

It looks that Australian tabsportsbet using same psychic, their quotes are much the same:

Novak $2.35
Roger $3.75
Rafa $6.50
Andy $7
Delpo $15
Tsonga $16

P.S.
I want be able to watch Andy, I have to record it, so Margot, Jane , Carlo , Colin, Grendel and other Andys fans will have to cheer very loud, those Queenslanders are tough cookies , ask Grendel he knows.


Wog boy Says:

Jane, thanks. Roger is defendiing, Rafa didn’t make final, it was Davydenko, thanks,
@Margot, thanks for best wishes for today, I will make sure to have good day and Andy will make it even nicer:)


grendel Says:

Wog boy, real Murray fans won’t be pleased at hearing me described as a Murray fan. I do wish him well, though, and I’d be genuinely pleased for him to get a slam. b.t.w., it was a long time ago that I was a Pom. I lived in Sydney, mainly. I was working in a biscuit factory in Homebush (I lived in Burwood) and at the time England was not only playing Australia at cricket – in Sydney – but they were giving them a drubbing, most unusual. At teabreak, I was sat next to a workmate, and he suddenly said:”I’d like us (Australia) to go to war with England”. The Aussies HATED being beaten by England in any sport, but especially cricket. It didn’t often happen, quite frankly – the Aussies always trounced Britain at Rugby League and later Union. Their tennis players, as well as their cricketers, were always miles better and so on. But on this particular occasion, they were getting a hiding. It felt good, and I guess I must have been oozing a special kind of smugness….


alison hodge Says:

jamie i still maintain your pyschic friend is absolutely brilliant with her predictions, especially if last year is anything to go by,on the other hand for her to say she hates rafa or any person for that matter,is not the kind of termenology a true spiritual person should be using,pyschics do not hate or pass judgement,pyschics keep an open mind,what would she say if rafa were to go to see her for a reading?would she refuse?hmm hardly a spiritual thing to do if she did,or is it just you who hates rafa,and not your spiritual friend?


alison hodge Says:

grendel just wondering i love your posts,but i have to ask who are your favourite players,male and female,or are you just a fan of any player that plays great tennis?sorry just curious.


Tennislover Says:

grendel- I presume you are talking of the Ashes at the start of the 1970s because the one real walloping given to the Aussies was at the end of the 70s but it was against a third-string team severely depleted by the Packer circus. Your fellow Yorkshireman, Geoffrey Boycott, made a big contribution in that Sydney test win. John snow also bowled pretty well if I am not mistaken. Having said that, the current English side also gave them a bit of a hiding in the last Ashes down under. It was the first such hiding since that series which you presumably talked about.


Wog boy Says:

Grendel, didn’t somebody say that ” England is inventing sports just to be beaten in all of them!” It must be Aussie who said that. Glad to hear that you were watching Rugby League, I got hooked on that game though I didn’t have a clue about a game until I arrived in Aussie Land. I couldn’t understand people pushing their heads up somebody’s….well, back sides and then belting the sh..t out of each other. Gradualy my Aussie friends keep draging me to watch the games, and now I am Ragby League fan and the club I picked is Canterbury Bulldogs. Sorry about cricket but I guess you have to be born with game to love it. I cannot see myself seating three days on the sun and the game is still not finished, though good thing you can drink a lot of beer during those three days and Barmy Army is doing just that:-)
It is sport #1 in Australia, I have to say, every state has some sport, NRL,AFL.. but cricket is #1.


alison hodge Says:

wog boy yeah us brits are crap at every sport there is,no need to rub it in though,only joking but unfortunatly true though none the less,andy murray has to,i mean really has to win wimbledon,puuurlease im begging the tennis gods,to give the doom and gloom in blighty a bit of a lift.


alison hodge Says:

wog boy i will be as sick as a parrot,if your sat in blazing sunshine all year round,and your favourite tennis player cleans up at the grand slams,and im sat here all year round,when its pissing it down with rain, and my favourite player wins naff all,god some people really have it all,again only joking, but yet again unfortunatly true though never the less lol.


jamie Says:

Hi.

Some lunar astrology and cycles information from the psychic(without doing the astrological charts yet though). Djokovic has an amazing one. He looks like the winner.

Del Potro also has a great one.

So Djokovic is the most likely winner of the AO but Del Potro has great chances of winning IF he reaches the SF….


jamie Says:

alison hodge:

Maybe using the word hate was too harsh. She dislikes him.


margot Says:

alison: IMHO Andy has more chance at RG than Wimbles. And I don’t therefore mean no chance either, for the cynics out there. Andy did as well last year as at any of the slams and with Ivan at his side, who knows?
Wog boy: dari and kimmi are Andy fans also, not really grendel.


alison hodge Says:

jamie sorry but any credibility as a spiritualist,went out of the window,spiritualist people are more open minded than that,by disliking she is still passing judgement on him,again i say not the termanoloy that a true spiritualist person should be using,again i ask the question what would she do if rafa were to go to see her for a reading,would she refuse?i think your pyschic friend may well be spot on with her predictions,and to be honest i really hope she is except for the ones about rafa been injured,but as a true spiritualist person she needs to take a look in the mirror,as she is not as open minded as she professes to be,in fact spiritual she is rather closed off.


alison hodge Says:

margot i know you could be right,he got much closer to beating rafa at rg last year,so who knows maybe he could go one better this year,mind you jamies dodgy pyschic was frighteningly accurate last year,and shes predicted a great summer for andy,so im feeling positive about wimby,and that would be the cream of the crop to do it on home soil,with ivans help i really believe this will be his year,to be honest i would be delighted to see him win a slam on any surface,as for grendel i just think he enjoys the finer things in life and just appreciates great tennis who ever it may be.


grendel Says:

Tennislover – yes, you’re right. I’m not always specific about dates – I’m at that age, you know, when you like to preserve a little uncertainty about exactly when you were around… Yes, Boycott did well, in fact he had a massive opening partnership with Bob Barber of something like 280. I was actually at the cricket ground in Sydney. Can you imagine, looking up at the scoreboard, and seeing:England, 285-0. Pure bliss. It’s true that of late, things have changed a bit – but Australia generally is not the sporting power it used to be.

alison – I have always been primarily a supporter of Federer’s. But not exclusively. I particularly also like: Murray (sometimes), Monfils (ditto), del Potro, and I appreciate Djokovic more these days, he is exhilerating when firing off all cylinders. But I think nearly all of us appreciate great tennis wherever it comes from – e.g.Berdych can look so good but can look elephantine, I think Gasquet and Ferrer, at opposite extremes. can be fun to watch, and so on and so forth. Also, as in life generally, you can have blank spots where you can acknowledge greatness without much liking it, Nadal is my blank spot. For women – I got very excited last year by Kvitova, and I think Radwanska can be intriguing to watch. I used to find Sharapova exciting.


alison hodge Says:

thanks grendel your definatly not a fan fanatic just a tennis fanatic well amongst other things,and i agree with you on all the players you mentioned,although your blank spot nadal is my weak spot,i just love that fighting quality about him,but thats maybe just me,and it would be a boring old world if we all felt the same.


grendel Says:

alison, it’s a funny thing, you’re not the first person to say you love the fighting quality of Nadal. Some have even said they particularly like it because they feel they lack it themselves. I’m the other way round – sceptical of my own fighting qualities, I resent it when a player shoves his in my face. For this reason, I didn’t much like Connors, Hewitt at his best, Roddick at his best, Nadal and among women, Serena Williams and to a lesser degree Venus (at her best). In fact, there were times when I hated all of these players. But I always understood that the problem was in me and not in them, and that I was kind of foolishly missing out (great tennis is great tennis, wherever or whoever it comes from) – but there you are. What can you do?


margot Says:

grendel: Someone, Tignor, I think , has called Radwanska a “female Federer.” I like her very much, there’s something graceful and nonchalant about her, which is very appealing.
I too agree, you can admire people without necessarily liking how they do things eg that bloke on TV who pokes his hands into snake holes…..um no, on second thoughts don’t even admire him either…;)


grendel Says:

Talking of the “female Federer”, margot, Frew Macmillan once called Federer the “male Henin”. It was only partly tongue in cheek, I think….


margot Says:

grendel: lol, never heard that! Back hand similarity perhaps? She was good though wasn’t she, the little dynamo?


alison hodge Says:

grendel i do identify with rafa your right,the reason been is i know how it feels to hit rock bottom and have to fight your way back,i also feel the same about murray,that i just want life to give me a break sometimes,and like me can be a bit of a headcase,probably why i also like roddick too lol,i agree with yourself and margot about henin although great to watch,i didnt particulaly warm to her,but i think the womans game misses her even so.


Tennislover Says:

grendel – I actually got it wrong now that you mention Bob Barber. Boycs did very well in the SCG test that I mentioned but he was the junior partner in the partnership you talked about and that was in the SCG test of the 1965-66 Ashes. The series was drawn 1-1 and both these matches were won by an innings. You meant it only for one test and not an entire series. Hence my confusion regarding the “hiding”.

“Can you imagine, looking up at the scoreboard, and seeing:England, 285-0. Pure bliss.”

I imagine that the bliss part was primarily due to the mammoth score. I can’t imagine you enjoying Boycs’ batting. He was the ultimate technician and has great insight into the technique of batting but bliss is something I can not associate with his batting style. I know you can appreciate different styles but I am sure you would rather watch Graveny or Gower. Maybe, Barber was absolutely brilliant on the day. He scored 185 at a rapid rate. I did some google search and I found this quote by E.W.Swanton about Barber’s innings.

“Often in bleak moments do I cast back to Bob Barber’s 185 in front of 40,000 on that sunny Friday in January 66. He batted without chance for five hours, starting decorously enough and then hitting the ball progressively harder and with a superb disdain to every corner of the field. One recalls the exceptional vigour of his driving and how he brought his wrists into the cut, making room for the stroke. It made blissful watching to English eyes – to one pair in particular, for by a wonderful chance father Barber had flown in from home that very day.”

Here is the scorecard if you wish to go down memory lane. The opening partnership was of 234 runs and Edrich scored a century too.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62985.html

I understand that you don’t follow cricket anymore but I find the current English side pretty exciting. They have the potential to become a truly great side. I guess their real test lies in the subcontinent. I enjoyed the 2005 Ashes too which was very similar to the “Botham series”. I take your point about the current Aussie side but the 2005 Aussie team was pretty formidable. England fought very hard to win that series.


grendel Says:

Tennislover – oh, was it 234-0? Well, there you are. Everything gets exaggerated in one’s memory. Also, now that you mention it, 1965 would be about right, I was still a teenager (and still being coy about exact age). That was the match I remember, since I went live – I didn’t recall who won the series, drawn you say. That’s the thing about tennis, isn’t it, you can’t have a draw.

I had a soft spot for old Boycs. You know, he was well aware that he wasn’t a natural a la Gower, and in fact he said with almost naive honesty how much he wished he could bat like Gower.
Bob Barber was an exciting batsman, but I don’t think he ever really did himself justice. He was also a leg break bowler, though as I remember, he didn’t give the ball enough air.
The “bliss” I was referring to was purely of the chauvinistic type – great fun (and a very rare pleasure) to see Australia trounced.
Thankyou for the score card, yes it does indeed bring back memories, and is much more meaningful to me than a present day score card would be. Very strong batting line up, with Jim Parks at #8. Then both offspinners Titmus and Allen had test centuries to their name (I’m fairly sure!) Jeff Jones at #11 was the only batting rabbit. He was fast left arm who could generate a lot of movement both in the air and off the pitch (a bit like the great Australian Alan Davidson) – but somehow he never quite lived up to expectations. M.J.K.Smith (he wore glasses), as I remember was a great county player who couldn’t quite pull it off in the Tests, or not as often as he should have done. One could go on. Edrich, Barrington, Cowdrey – magical names redolent of long ago Summers when tea was served at half-past four in the afternoon and the sun was always shining and even if it wasn’t it was really. But one had better not. Thankyou for that, Tennislover.


grendel Says:

Post script to the above, Tennislover. Are you familiar, by any chance, with the English-Japanese novelist Kazuo Ishiguro? In an interview, he once disarmingly said he didn’t understand how everyone could read so much – you know when you get these “best books of the year” lists, and the presumption always is, isn’t it, that the chap picking his books has of course also read about 100 others over the past year. So I loved Ishiguro’s comment and also his follow up, that it gave him an inferiority complex – he said it of course with a slight smile. His point was:how does anyone have the time to read all these bloody books? Do they ever do anything else?

Well, I empathise absolutely with that but also the same thing applies to sport. Tennis, for instance, goes on more or less all year long, and a tennis match can be very long. And then, blow me if you don’t go and watch another. At least football viewers just watch one game generally, and that’s it till another day or even week. But worse than tennis is cricket – that’s quite incredibly timeconsuming. Sometimes, in the days when I was both unemployed and out of the pub, I would put the radio onto test cricket, and if it was raining, which it generally was, all the buffers in the studio would still go on chatting interminably away and quite often I’d be listening to them. Hour after hour. In retrospect, it seems quite mad. Endless hours of either cricket or talking about cricket. And I still managed to get some tennis in (in those days, there was only the BBC, so there wasn’t a lot outside Wimbledon and Queens).

After untold years of this, I decided enough was enough. One of these two sports would have to go. And I decided on cricket. Can’t quite remember why. Of course, the sane thing to do would be to dip into both from time to time. Temperamentally, I am not one of life’s dippers, however.


Tennislover Says:

grendel – You are most welcome! I am sorry for responding so late even though it is Sunday. I normally visit the blog more often on weekends.

I can see that cricket indeed was your first love. Your passion for the game comes out so clearly from the way you wrote about those players. Some of them truly are the greats of the game. I was not even born then but I used to read a lot about the history of the game and there was a period from the early-1980s to mid-1990s when I was similarly passionate about cricket. I can see the parallels. I consider myself pretty lucky to be able to learn about it from someone who has seen that era. Thank Goodness for internet!

I am familiar with Ishiguro and I agree with you and him. I used to be a voracious reader during my student days but I am hardly able to read a few books these days. It is indeed very different when you have nothing much to worry about when you are a student. You have a lot of time to do so many different things. I also have had to ration my time. Test matches can indeed take a lot of time and it is frankly impossible to devote that much time. I have devised some ways to keep in touch and closely follow a match whenever a potentially cracking series comes along and try to watch the more intense passages of play if I have the time. Otherwise I just watch the highlights although they tend to focus more on boundaries/wickets and leave out some of the more interesting and tense passages of play. Like you, most of my “sporting” time is devoted to tennis now. I follow many sports though. This further eats into my reading time and I am ashamed to admit it.

Regarding the coyness about your age, I think you have yourself given many clues in the past especially while talking about Tom and Jack. I think it is in the 60-65 range. :-)The accumulated knowledge and wisdom of all these years are very clear to see and I am sure all of us here are much the better for it. A big THANK YOU for that grendel!

By the way, wasn’t it Cowdrey who had this strange superstition of standing in front of the dressing room mirror in nothing but a pair of red socks before going out to bat? As far as cricketing superstitions go, that has got to take the cake, baker and bakery.

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