Roger Federer: My Back Has Won Me 88 Titles, So I’m OK With My Back
by Tom Gainey | June 25th, 2016, 6:02 pm
  • 40 Comments

Roger Federer met the press today in London ahead of his bid to win an 8th Wimbledon title. The Swiss is making his first appearance at a major since the Australian Open after ending his consecutive Slam streak at 65 when he missed the French Open last month. Federer now says the back which kept him out of Paris isn’t a worry.

“Look, this back has won me 88 titles, so I’m okay with that back. It’s okay if it messes around with me sometimes,” Federer said Saturday.

“It’s frustrating because it shakes the whole mechanics of the body, what you can work on. Yeah, maybe if it hits you in bad times, it’s not funny. I think particularly difficult has just been looking ahead of what was to come: Paris, Wimbledon, Olympics, US Open.”

And he said the extra time off missing the French could pay off on the grass.

“I think this is a huge boost for me after pulling out of Paris, that I’m back here at my favourite tournament,” Federer said. “With all the success I’ve had here, this is the motivation I need right now to get back on the big courts, play good matches and enjoy Wimbledon.”

Federer failed to win either grass warm-up, but he was pleased that he got match play in.

“Getting some confidence and some knowledge of where I was going to be in those seven matches in 10 days in Stuttgart and Halle,” he said. “I think that was crucial for me going into Wimbledon knowing I passed that test and that the body can take that amount of tennis.

“It’s really, really important for your mind to know you can manage the five‑setters. If you get a day off and all that stuff, it’s not a problem. All of a sudden you’re coming into Wimbledon with more confidence, more understanding where you’re at. Now we’ll see.”

Federer added that he thinks Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are the clear favorites to win at Wimbledon.

“They are the big favourites in my opinion,” Federer said of the Top 2. “They’ve had such a great last six months, last few years. To me they are the ones to beat.

“I need to focus on myself, getting myself into those positions, meaning second week, growing momentum, you know, the whole thing starts rolling then hopefully.”

Federer opens play Monday against lefty Guido Pella.

“I love this tournament more than anything. It’s a huge opportunity for me to maybe turn around the season. Who knows?”


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40 Comments for Roger Federer: My Back Has Won Me 88 Titles, So I’m OK With My Back

James Says:

Not once does he say his back is fine.

I think he would be the favorite to win the seniors slam now. Especially since Nadal has acquired Delpo’s wrist problem – that never goes away.

Now nadal can’t even give Federer a “slap on the back”. Its going to hurt for both.


Dave Says:

According to pictures from this article as well as comments, Federer is not doing the best with his back right now.

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/roger-federer-excited-to-be-back-at-wimbledon–but-there-are-hints-he-s-not-100-per-cent-011425917.html

He cancelled his practice session with Nishikori today. And he didn’t look good in the practice yesterday.


Giles Says:

James. You deserve a slap on your face for your disrespectful comments!


Okiegal Says:

That back he won 88 titles with was a lot younger……age has a way of catching up……sorry Roger…..but there are still lots of guys he can beat with a back that isn’t 100%.
Have to agree with James about Rafa’s wrist problem too….that is a bad injury to have to deal with…….Poor DelPo….it has plagued him way too long. Injuries suck!


Daniel Says:

Things to be hopeful (Fedfans) for:

-Last time Nadal didn’t play Wimbledon Fed won

- Last time he got Djoko in Wimby semis he won tourney

- Last time he had back issued during Wimbledon (in 2012 against Malisse, R3 if I am not mistaken) he recovers and won the title

- Last time somebody skipped the French (Andy Murray in 2013), he won Wimbledon

Just fun facts;-), think Fed has a 5% chance, if somebody beat Djoko and Murray I’ll put my money on Fed, experience counts as well, but he would have to do his part and win his matches, as fast as possible and no long matches if he is to have a chance of winning 7 best of 5.


Michael Says:

I feel that Roger should gracefully retire considering that he has achieved everything a budding player can aspire for and has become a true Legend of the Sport with his towering personality eclipsing the rest. There is no point in continuing when you know well that you cannot dominate and your best years are behind you.

It has been almost more than three years since Roger has won a major and that is a severe drought when one considers Roger’s overwhelming success in major events in his career. Roger has a certain stature, standing and commands respect in the Sport and he cannot allow himself to be beaten black and blue by outside the creamy lot.

Let us hope saner sense prevails upon Roger and he honourably hangs his boots without putting himself to more stress and agony in his quest for more additions to his already piled up trophy cabinet. I do not think there is any way out for Roger and the opening that he is looking for like the elimination of Novak in earlier rounds is just not happening as Novak has managed to maintain a remarkable consistency level that is only second to Roger and he has still a few years left in him to display his best.


James Says:

Giles, get your panties out of a bunch man, and stick to posting about tennis and players.


madmax Says:

Michael,

I absolutely disagree with you. As a forever federer fan, I am under now illusion about where Federer is at.

World No. 3. Even with a ‘bad back’. He has had the best doctors advising him whether to play before a tournament, so they are the people to listen to. And what an incredible achievement to be where he is, with the other great players in the game – he should stay until he feels he can no longer cope.

It must be so difficult to know what the time is up – after such an illustrious career. What a dilemma, what a crossroads – but he will do it when HE is ready.

He simply would not play if he was not fit.

If he loses in the first round, or second, or third, etc…it will be because the other player is better. All players play with injuries. Yes, they accumulate over a period of time – but he has played at the highest level for so very many years – but I don’t for one moment believe that his back is anywhere near as bad as these people are saying.

And these shots of him, grimacing, are the worst photos that any camera lens can show – and you are telling me that the people taking these shots are fans? Plenty out there of him smiling on the practise court. It’s just people want to scaremonger.

Bad news sells.

Good luck Federer. Hope you continue playing for as long as you decide and bring us many more joyous memories.


madmax Says:

Jatin? Gannu? Are you around for today?


MMT Says:

“Michael Says: I feel that Roger should gracefully retire considering that he has achieved everything a budding player can aspire for and has become a true Legend of the Sport with his towering personality eclipsing the rest….”

The nerve of that guy, continuing to play tennis – who does he think he is? Roger Fe…wait a minute.


Markus Says:

Roger still makes the most money of all tennis players. As long as he can keep playing decently to satisfy his sponsors, that’s reason enough to keep playing. He has already a lot of money but why cut the source when he really won’t have anything as interesting and lucrative to do if he retires?


chrisford1 Says:

“I do not think there is any way out for Roger and the opening that he is looking for like the elimination of Novak in earlier rounds is just not happening as Novak has managed to maintain a remarkable consistency level that is only second to Roger and he has still a few years left in him to display his best.”

===================
He just said he wants to keep playing as long as he likes to be there, and his wife and kids are OK with that, and is body can handle it. If any of those factors changes, he’s done, no problem.
The 3 most consistent players in Open Era history – Federer, Djokovic, Connors. Djokovic has active streaks going that threaten certain Fed records. But although Fed has has some erratic performance after 30 and some early exits, he has gone deep and been consistent like no other player over a career span…but if he was the most consistent is awaiting what Djokovic does in the next 3-4 years.

Anyways, Federer means a lot to many fans, not just his. He’s good for the sport and it’s growth. Only hard spot I would have is if he keeps playing and becomes unlikely to make even QFs anymore – is media overhyping his chances. He and the players that are doing far better are not served by half the writer’s ink and half the many words out of McEnroe’s mouth making each and every tournament All-About-Things-Federer.

At some point, up and comers need to get their fair share of publicity, attention, and showcasing to fans, the general public that may get onboard pro tennis fandom with and appealing new face they can root for, and endorsers.

In the meantime, lets all hope that Rogers great tennis twilight has a few more years to go. As he said, he made 3 Slam finals 2014-15 and beat Djokovic 3 times last year. So 3 times he was better than 126 of the 128 entering a Slam and had more wins on Nole than anyone else in 2015 – all at 34-35 years old


Michael Says:

Madmax,

Thanks for sharing your views on Roger. But, please do not get an impression that I am in any way condescending the achievements of Roger and his persona. I am too a Roger fan and always thinks what is good for him and his career.

Whatever said and done, it is Roger who has to take the call and he will play as long as his body allows him that luxury. What I only felt about badly was the way he was losing to sundry players although you might disagree here with me that he still lost only to potential future prospects of Tennis after marathon matches.

Let us only hope that Roger proves everybody wrong at Wimbledon with his exploits.


Michael Says:

MMT – The dictionary meaning of endurance for me is Roger.

Chrisford1 – As usual a very nice post from you and it was great to read.


Margot Says:

@MMT
Do you want Fed to go out with a bang or a whimper?


Willow Says:

MMT Great analysis on your blog, and the homage to Abbott and Costello was hilarious, my late father used to listen to those two on the radio alot, so it brings back alot of memories, i remember the link you put up some months ago, with one of their sketches, and you also did one from the Rush Hour, back when i was the Green Lady, and i enjoy your posts, even if i dont always agree with them, so nice to see you back ….


Willow Says:

Disagree with Michael regarding a certain poster, as i thought it was all rather condescending, and quite patronizing to be quite honest, and another self serving post about knocking one all time great, to paint another in a glowing light ….


madmax Says:

Willow Says:
Disagree with Michael regarding a certain poster, as i thought it was all rather condescending, and quite patronizing to be quite honest, and another self serving post about knocking one all time great, to paint another in a glowing light ….

June 28th, 2016 at 4:13 am

Willow, if you were referring to me, then please, don’t beat about the bush. Or it could be ChrisFord 1 – Firstly, whatever that person writes, is ALWAYS anti fed…this time it was not, so I don’t believe them for a minute…may be you picked up on this too?

Anyhow, Michael, please. You are absolutely entitled to your views. Absolutely. I will always support Roger but I am also realistic to know that his years are numbered. He has given me so much joy over the years.

I fully applaud his decision to play on. And on. And on! Of course, we fans always worry about his back, but in all honesty. If he plays with or through injury, that it is for him and his team to know. He would always play to the best of his ability, so should he lose, he loses for one reason only. The other player, regardless of age or talent was better.

He ha many miles in that body. Many miles. I think people just expect him to play the way he used to. I accepted long ago that this is probably Roger Phase 2, even 3.

Nevertheless, he is still World Number 3. Still has the aura with some players, who are playing the legend of the game. He IS the legend of tennis. Always will be.

Sentimental nonsense perhaps. Having said that, love to watch Roger play and have been fortunate enough to see him play live, 8 times now.

Good luck to him in the second round. This will be extraordinary for Willis. Everyone will be behind Willis, so Roger will be up against the applauding of the crowd. Never Mind.

Hope AGE AND EXPERIENCE overcomes the Fairytale. But Like Iceland -v- England, Willis has nothing to lose. I know nothing about him, or his game, but I do expect Roger to come through.

Stranger things have happened though! :-)


Willow Says:

Madmax no not you the other poster, and yes i did indeed pick up on this, always a sly dig hidden in there somewhere ….

And about Willis its amazing for him, and what an occasion to be playing RF, although i dont agree with the crowd being all Willis, as theres alot of love for Roger at Wimby too, he could be ranked 300 in the world, and im sure the crowd would still be rooting for him, the thing i hate about crowds well some, is when they cheer on his opponents errors, anyhow hope Willis gives a good account of himself, he has nothing to lose ….


J-Kath Says:

I don’t disagree with above comments re. Willis, but in this particular case I think he will get much more crowd encouragement than a usual Brit., even though it is vs. Fed. – simply because of his story and his “unspoilt” excitement.


Willow Says:

J-Kath the Brits love a fairy tale too ….


J-Kath Says:

Willow

Yes, Brits that normally might add to Fed’s Swiss fans + will be drawn in irrespective of what nationality Willis is.

Did you see young Fritz from USA is getting married right after Wimb.? He is 18 years old. Proposed at the foot of the Eiffel Tour during FO.


Willow Says:

J-Kath aww thats sweet, hope it all works out for him ;-) ….


MMT Says:

“@MMT: Do you want Fed to go out with a bang or a whimper?”

I’m indifferent, but just curious: what difference does it make?


Margot Says:

@MMT
Because one would be fabulous for Fed fans, but wouldn’t the other be kind of sad?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I don’t think these issues people have with Roger continuing are long lasting ones.

Connors really did no damage to his legacy playing LONG after he was competitive. And ink was spent, appropriately, on the new stars of the game, as will happen if Roger continues playing as an ‘irrelevant’ journeyman.

We’re still talking about him this much because he is still #3 in the world and made two slam finals last year.


BBB Says:

I promise I won’t spend the next fortnight complaining about ESPN, but yikes. I wish half these people would go away (P-Mac already mentioned, MJ, LZ Granderson, Tom Rinaldi).


BBB Says:

Federer should play as long as he wants to. Unless you do what Borg did, and retire at the peak, it makes little difference whether you retire higher on your downslope, or lower.


Dave Says:

The number 3 ranking in the world can be a bit deceiving. He has a lot of points to defend in the next few months. Whether he is truly playing like a number 3 ranked player or not will be revealed this summer. It is still amazing that he could finish the season in the top 5 with so many injury issues this season though. We will know where his game is truly at in the next few months for sure. His ranking will either stay at number 3, which is very possible because of Rafa being injured and not being able to catch up at the moment. Or he will be out of the top 4.


Willow Says:

Correct me if im wrong but didnt Justine Henin retire when she was ranked world number 1 ? ….


MMT Says:

Margot: a true fan of the way he plays, would want to watch him play regardless of whether he wins. Even mere flashes of brilliance are better than consistently winning in the most dull and pallid way possible.

Willow: I’m glad you liked the historical perspective, glad you liked “Hu’s Seeded First”, and yes: when she retired the first time, Justine Henin was still #1 in the world.

Speaking of JuJu – you may enjoy this:

https://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2008/05/ode-to-justine.html


Margot Says:

Cheers for response MMT.


Margot Says:

Liked your ode too. Fab player.


jane Says:

“Even mere flashes of brilliance are better than consistently winning in the most dull and pallid way possible.”

indeed, and luckily we have none of the latter. the game is presently in good hands all round. great players at the top, exciting young ones on their way up, and lots of players in the mid-range who are still excellent and fun to watch, with flashes of brilliance hither and yon.


jane Says:

b.t.w., MMT, enjoyed your preview of wimbledon overall:

https://tennis-column.blogspot.ca/


Michael Says:

Madmax @ 5.06 AM – Wonderful post. Enjoyed it.


Wog Boy Says:

“b.t.w., MMT, enjoyed your preview of wimbledon overall..”

I enjoyed his post view of FO..


Willow Says:

MMT Thanks for the reply, yeah like the ode to Justine, although i liked her tennis, i didnt actually care for her personally, i thing sometimes she did some unsportsman like stuff, but her tennis was beautiful to watch, unlike some of the ball bashing grunt fests we see on the WTA these days, with the odd exception ….


BBB Says:

I’ve come to think that Justine was badly behaved when she was married to Hardenne. She was isolated, not speaking to her family, a tennis robot. I too thought she was lacking in character (French Open “hand” incident v. Serena). But she left him and seemed to become more of a human being again. So in retrospect, I like her more than I did at the time.

I was watching Federer the other day to try to figure exactly why he looks so elegant out there. He does this crazy thing where, even when he’s moving laterally, he crosses one leg behind him. I think most people would trip if they did that. It’s one of the reasons he looks like he’s dancing on the court, rather than playing a taxing game.

That said, I don’t find the others dull and pallid. I enjoy watching Djokovic slide and stretch and contort and turn a defensive shot into a winner, for example.

Top story: Federer Goes Down To Nishikori In First Straight Set Round-Robin Loss At ATP Finals; Djokovic Monday