Roger Federer has put it out there that he will no longer play when he’s injured. Last year Federer nursed a back injury for much of the season. And the injury, he says, led in part to his poor results. Looking back, Federer regrets playing and vows not to play anymore when’s he’s not in perfect health.
Talking about his back injury he struggled with at Indian Wells one year ago, Federer said it hurt his ability to train for the clay and summer seasons.
“The injury,” Federer said Saturday referring to his back, “took me three weeks probably. And out of those seven weeks I was looking forward to taking two weeks off and then training for five weeks basically, and I could only train for like two weeks. So actually, instead of coming out of the training block strong and fit like a fiddle, I came out like, you know, halfway.
“That’s why my results were mediocre. I think they were okay. I mean, I did play the finals in Rome and quarters in Paris, won Halle. It was okay, but I realized I’m missing training, I’m missing things, my confidence is not there.
“So the rest I took, I had to take it at the end (after Wimbledon), and I believe my results would have been different could I have trained 100 percent, because then many things happened with my mind, I lost confidence in my movement. The back issue didn’t quite go away really ever through that entire stretch.
“But I did decide to play Hamburg and Gstaad, added that to the schedule, but then got hurt again in Hamburg, should not have finished the tournament there, should not have played Gstaad, but I was like, I’m already here. It’s not crazy bad, but it’s bad enough that I shouldn’t be playing but I want to play.
And then from then on I just had to take a clear decision that I will just not play when I feel this way anymore in the future. That’s the promise I made to myself.”
With the back healthy again, Federer’s results this year have returned to form. The 32-year-old who’s also added a bigger racquet and Stefan Edberg for the new season, just won Dubai after a semifinal at the Australian Open. And even though he ranks No. 8 still in the ATP Rankings, he’s No. 4 in the 2014 points only race.
“I’m just happy that I’m healthy again and that I can focus on tactics and not focus on am I feeling all right, you know, when I wake up tomorrow or am I going to feel better tomorrow, that kind of stuff,” added Federer. “I went through that weeks and months, like every day I hoped there was going to be a little improvement. I only started to feel that improvement halfway through sort of the US Open maybe, so it was a long time. I was fighting it, you know, all the way from Indian Wells really.
“I’m just happy that now it’s clear, I don’t have to think of it, and I can just play tennis. When you can play that way, you’re more free, you have an open mind.”
Federer will be back on US soil later this week for Indian Wells which starts on Thursday. The Swiss has won the title four times most recently in 2012.
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