Federer Pulls Out of Davis Cup, Dubai Citing Back Injury
by Staff | February 17th, 2009, 3:04 pm

Roger Federer has announced that he has withdrawn from the upcoming Davis Cup competition and the Dubai ATP event. ADHEREL

In a statement on his website, RogerFederer.com, Federer said 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,” added Federer who spends much of his downtime in Dubai. “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.”

Federer was scheduled to lead his Switzerland team against the United States in a much-anticipated showdown in Birmingham, Alabama on March 6-8.

With Federer sidelined, Stanislas Wawrinka will likely have to shoulder the burden against Andy Roddick and James Blake. The next highest ranked player after Wawrinka is Stephane Bohli who may be Federer’s replacement. Neither team has been officially announced.

In his last match Federer was beaten by World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in five sets in a dramatic Australian Open final.

Federer’s withdrawals do raise into question just how much the Swiss has gotten over that loss, if at all. Federer made no mention of any lingering back issues during the Melbourne tournament nor has he competed since then.

If healthy, Federer will next appear in Indian Wells on March 12.

There is also question as to the health and availability of Nadal who is also scheduled to compete in both Davis Cup and Dubai. Nadal aggravated his knee during the Rotterdam tournament last weekend.

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91 Comments for Federer Pulls Out of Davis Cup, Dubai Citing Back Injury

NachoF Says:

Are you kidding me!?…. I hate this, he’s never gonna climb back to #1… its pretty much official now

jane Says:

It’s too bad that Roger won’t be able to play Davis Cup as he would’ve made that tie more competitive and interesting, though I think the USA would’ve had the edge with the Brians.

Roger’s serve – one of his best weapons of late – was noticably weak in the AO final; perhaps this was due to the back problems.

I think he’s making the right decision though. Why risk it? He only has 1st round points to defend at Dubai. Better to rest up for the North American hard court swing, where he could really make a challenge for both MS tournaments in IW and Miami.

Good for him.

Richard Says:


the atp of dubai is only worth 500 atp points
and: “the Best four ATP World Tour 500 will be counted towards a player’s ranking” so there is no problem he just have o chose another,
(nadal hasn’t won an atp-500 ytd)

so this has not so much importance for the nr1 position compared the more important Indian Wells

NachoF Says:

I know he can mathematically reclaim it, Im just saying the momentum shift has be so drastic I just dont see it happening ever again :(

fed is afraid Says:

he is done anyway. he will never beat rafa again, nor andy murray.

MMT Says:

Jane, I have to disagree – with Federer the Swiss would have been favored to win Fed’s 2 singles matches, and Wawrinka is no wall flower – he’s a top 10 player who could easily win 1 of 2 matches against Roddick and whoever else on the US side. As for the doubles, Federer and Wawrinka beat the Bryans at the Olympics in straight sets and went on to take the gold, so I don’t think the US would have had any edge with Fed participating aside from home court advantage.

Fed’s withdrawal obviously makes the Swiss the underdogs as Wawrinka would have been less than 50/50 with Roddick (given the home team support). And their next best player is Stephane Bohli, who is ranked 150 in the world. Who knows who’d they’d roll out for the doubles, but whoever it was would surely be worse than the Bryans.

I think it’s a terrible shame he won’t play. We have to take him at his word because he has also withdrawn from Dubai, which you’d think he wouldn’t sacrifice just to cover for a phony Davis Cup withdrawal, but if it turns out both withdrawals are phony I’ll be very disappointed.

jane Says:

MMT – you’re right; I completely forgot about Fed and Wawrinka’s Olympics success. Perhaps they would’ve been the favorites to win then.

Good god! I’d hope the withdrawals aren’t bogus. I thought this sounded like a good move on Fed’s part if he really has a persistent back injury; he didn’t take really any time off for the mono and that probably plagued him throughout 2008. So better to nip this one in the bud, if it’s possible to do so with back problems. Those tend to linger and flare up.

I like tennis bullies Says:

federer is too greedy and too much of a coward to say anything that wld offend his dubai masters, he must be secret anti semetic

Colin Says:

I like tennis bullies – take the first letter away from the final (misspelled) word in your posting, and it sums up your opinions, mate!

federer fears nadal Says:

federer fears nadal! simple as that! federer will never be the greatest in my book because he cannot beat nadal on clay and now on all surfaces! u cannot claim GOAT status if ur getting humiliated by ur main rival and struggle on clay! im pretty sure the back injury being brought up after the aussie defeat is to falsely justify his poor serving, just like mono last year, this federer guy is an absolute fraud! its fraudulent behaviour and the guy looks like a cunning creepy fraud when u look into his eyes! i think the swiss police needs to investigate federer because who knows what kind of tax evasion shit he has done! i bet now this year will be the back injury excuse for every loss in 2009, last year it was mono! just retire federer, ur destroying ur reputation!


Shan Says:

Get better Fed, and F Dubai, ATP and WTA – GET OUT OF THERE ASAP

Hypnos Says:

Sampras also hurt his back in 1999 after Wimbledon. He won another Wimbledon and US Open, but wasn’t the same player as in ’96-98. He devoted himself completely to his power game and had a noticeable lack of stamina thereafter.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Federer has much of a power game to fall back on, certainly not one adequate to this era …

captain obvious Says:

“Unfortunately, I don’t think Federer has much of a power game to fall back on, certainly not one adequate to this era …”

So, he has been winning on touch and finesse? Have you seen his forehand?

Ryan Says:

Federer is now like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino….He is the senior guy in the top 5. But he can kick that ass…..except the one which fed is afraid kisses a lot.

Daniel Says:

Jane, I thought the same thing! Maybe Fed didn’t mentioned it earlier to avoid taking some credit of Rafa’s win, when his serve wasn’t there. But I understand Fed haters, it sounds as an excuse.

I’ll trust his judgement and his crew, they know what’s best for him. But he will be missed a lot, Dubai would be a preview of US masters 1000, now it’s Nadal in one side (we don’t know how serious that knee injury is), Djoko in the other and Murray unbalancing one side of the draw. I hope Roddick ends in Djoko side and Murray in Nadal’s, it will be more interesting this way.

Twocents Says:


Sorry I’m of no big help. Know nothing about doping rules. Judge from the daunting challenges of all testings in my own field (engieering), it’s jsut impossible for testings to catch all dopers. Having said that, I do appreciate effort people put in to combat it.

Fed’s withdraw confirmed my suspect. It’s not easy to heal a sore back. Rumours had it that Fed was on strong pain killers which may have caused his stomach sickness, back in Shanghai YEC 2008. And He did mention a new strain before Doha.

Good move from Fed, finally.

Mo Rocca Says:

There’s a misunderstanding – Federer’s back isn’t ailing, his balls are ailing. And occasionally his girdle and truss gets a little tight when Mirka gets angry and cranks on the elastic.

Ro Mocca Says:

There was a manicure scheduling conflict with his pedicure that threw everything off.

Co Focca Says:

Time to ice the back and heat the nuts.

Hypnos Says:

captain obvious,

Since when has Federer’s forehand blown anyone off the court? His game is using footwork and timing to work a point and then hit sick winners into small spaces when he gets a weak ball — yes, most often with the forehand.

Roddick, Verdasco, Tsonga, Soderling, etc. all play “bigger,” probably because they can’t play with the movement and accuracy of the Big 4. However, if Federer’s back continues to bother him, limiting his training and ability to play long points, his movement advantage may desert him …

Jo Hocca Says:

If dear Fed’s cojones keep bothering him, he’ll have to grow a new pair.
“Bourght me a tikit, to da Davis Cup;
One a da Playahs, lost himself a nut;
Gonna watch a beat-down, paid fo’ so much mo’;
Sendin’ in a pit-bull, to play a Chihuaho.
Yo! We got Swiss Cheezed!
You gon’ pay fo’ dat, Twinkletoes.”

King roger Says:

Federer won his 13 grand slams in a period when there were no decent players except Nadal on clay. He simply doesn’t have the skills to beat really good players. That’s why he is will never win another grand slam.

Polo Says:

The way things a going, Federer needs a coach, a sports psychologist, a trainer, a physical therapist, and a public relations manager. There are so many things that need fixing, including his image. And marry Mirka already!

Lenny Says:

I think Fed’s just being sensible. This is where Rafa needs to take a page from his book, or he’s going to be done and dusted by 25-26. I know this is a record that’s been playing for some time, now, but why on Earth did he play Rotterdam? I guess an indoor tournament win was one of his goals this year, but he may have wanted to think about deferring that goal until he’d had enough time to rest up after Melbourne – heck, may as well bundle that with the year end championship goal. Anyone else think he should’ve called it quits before the 3rd set? Ok, he’s Rafa and not the Djoker, but playing through that match made no sense whatsoever, imho.

Twocents Says:


I always think Fed needs to take lots of pages from Rafa’s book. At the age of 27, why on earth did he play YEC08 with a bad back and AO looming in 2 months? Fed should have called it quits before 3rd set against Murray in his last RR match. Hell with the “never-retire-a-match” record. He won’t be able to stick it anyway as he enters his declining phase. Fed’s won YEC 4 times. And he’s no longer no.1 — why should he care for YEC’s credibility? No one will remember anything when they laugh of him one short of Sampras’s 14. imho.

Voicemale1 Says:

Federer had said one of his goals was to get his #1 ranking back, which will now be infinitely more difficult, if not impossible, since he lost the Australian Open. The new Ranking Points System pretty much guarantees Nadal will be able to keep his #1 ranking at year end so long as he continues to run through the clay season as he always has. Federer will need to defend Final appearances at Roland Garros (a really shaky prospect), Wimbledon (a better bet) and the US Open (another shaky prospect). He’s got more threats than Nadal out there on hard courts, as Murray has proved, and even guys like Tipsarevic, Andreev and Berdych have pushed Federer to 5 Sets in early rounds at hard court Majors in the last 12 months.

Let’s take him at his word and say his back is ailing. If so, a bad back can flare up at any time, especially under the stress of playing. When it does flare up there’s not much you can do about it. No court-side treatments will help much at all. Even surgery on these areas does virtually nothing to make substantive improvements. Historically speaking, back trouble or hip trouble usually marks the sunset of professional tennis player’s career.

Cynics will say this is just a ploy by Federer to justify any losses that will spring forth from now on. His “Back of 2009” will be the “Mono of 2008”, the mantra will go. Dunno. But what was striking to me about the Australian Open was the stark contrast between his emotional breakdown on court and the language of his press conference afterward.

Court-side, these weren’t just tears – this was outright uncontrollable sobbing to the point he couldn’t even speak words. That’s MUCH different than fighting back tears of disappointment. This sobbing was laced with a self awareness that Federer finally understood he wasn’t, in fact, “The Federer” (to quote Safin) anymore. Gone are the days walking on to any court and knowing he can beat anyone at any time. He’s got too many rivals today who do not have the reverence his generation had for him; his Fear Factor is pretty much gone.

Yet his press conference was nothing but claims that he really lost the match, Nadal didn’t win it. That’s understandable to some extent, especially in the Third Set when he had 6 chances to break over two service games and failed to flip any of them. But then if he really believes that he lost the match with poor play on his part, why then the uncontrollable sobbing? If he really believed that he had this match on his racquet and Nadal was lucky to win it, then you’d think he believed another day at another Major against Nadal or anyone else was just around the corner with his name on it. If he’s disappointed – I understand. He had chances to win (many) and he didnt’ take them. OK. Fine. Happens to every tennis player everywhere at every time – past, present and future. You go home, lick your wounds and come back with the knowledge that you’re still the one to beat based on what you said. But that’s NOT what played out during court-side ceremony. He sobbed and weeped as though his entire professional life was at an end, and he knew it.

His actions on the court do not match the rhetoric that took place afterward. But no matter. If it’s his head or his back one thing is true: the road to win big events will be much tougher than it’s ever been for him.

MMT Says:

Voicemale1: I think he was sobbing because he wants very much to have the grand slam record, which is the kind of open ambition that I find refreshingly honest. When he lost the match with a lot of opportunities to win it, or at least take the upper hand, then add to that the presence of all those great Australians, he obviously couldn’t cope. Let’s be honest, this is not a guy who has demonstrated an ability or desire to conceal his emotions in these situations. He cried years ago when he lost the Basel final to Henman, he cried when he won Wimbledon in 2003, he cried when he won the Australian in 2006. The man cries in public – strange for many, but not for him.

I don’t think we should read too much, psychologically into that reaction. That said, I think this back thing is bollocks. There’s some reason he didn’t want to play either Dubai or Davis Cup (or both) that he’s not revealing, and we won’t know until he slips up an reveals it. But I seriously doubt he’s going in for “therapy” or going on a hiatus. He never plays that much between the AO and the spring hard court swing through the US.

Ojo Says:

He is ashamed. Not only of his meltdown, but his BIG mouth during the AO. Wouldn’t you be?

Fed on del potro: I happily put him out of his misery.
Fed on Murray: I’ll take him on in a 5th setter anytime.
Fed on Djok: maybe he shouldn’t play
Fed on JJ: No disrespect to Jelena Jankovic but it took Rafa five grand slams to become No.1.
Fed on Rafa: “You know, in a fifth set, anything can happen. That’s the problem. Not usually the better player always wins.

jane Says:


What reason do you think that might be, besides a back injury? Just curious. I suppose if he’s looking for a coach, that might be it, time to work on finding someone, working with someone, etc. Or maybe if he wants to rest and practice to prepare for the rest of the season, though presumably he did that in the off-season. He doesn’t have many points to defend in Dubai either. But any other thoughts on why he might make up the back reason?

I like tennis bullies Says:

rotfl Ojo.
right on mate.

Voicemale1 Says:


I’d forgotten Federer had said that about the 5th Set in his Australian Open press conference. Now that you remind me of it, that did seem a little odd at the time. But I guess when you’re 5-Set record is as mediocre as Federer’s is – 13-12, I think – then it’s easy to understand why he has to say stuff like that. Especially when compared to Nadal’s 5-Set record of 11-3.

Boris Becker had famously said that in any 5th Set, “…it’s not about tennis anymore.” It’s all about what’s in your head and what’s inside your soul. If you rely on your tennis, you get a 5-Set record like Federer’s. If you rely on your heart, soul and head, you get a 5-Set record like Nadal’s.

Voicemale1 Says:


The presence of The Legends on court had nothing to do with Federer. They were present for a ceremony to honor Laver, in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of his 1969 Grand Slam achievement. It’s a REAL stretch to justify Federer’s meltdown was due to the presence of people court-side that had nothing to do with him. After all, the actual ceremony for Laver with the other 4 guys was the night before, at a dinner. You think he cried then?

MMT Says:

Voicemale1: I wasn’t justifying his loss, but explaining his crying after the final without delving into a psychoanalysis. The man cries a lot in public, in good times and bad, so I don’t think him crying after he lost to Nadal is an indication of some kind of psychological breakdown. To the contrary, it merely shows that despite all of his victories, he still appears to want more and doesn’t hide from that desire, which is a characteristic that I find refreshingly honest, his subsequent back excuse and pulling out of Dubai/Davis Cup notwithstanding.

That said, I think he either didn’t want to play Dubai because of this bust up or didn’t want to play Davis Cup, because of the extra effort it would take, and he had to quit the other in order to justify a (disingenuous) citation of an injury. Afterall, if he played one, but not the other it wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

Jane, I think he could be looking for a coach, but I don’t think he needs a travelling coach per se – I think he needs coaching, and he may be spending time with, or looking for someone to work with him in between tournaments. But for a player at his age and at his level, it would be very difficult to going back to having someone tell you what to do and when to do it ALL YEAR.

The thing is, if he’s healthy, he doesn’t have to quit Davis Cup and Dubai to find someone to work with him, so who the hell knows.

King Roger Says:

Federer is a poor tennis player- he always has been. Nadal is the GOAT.

Ojo Says:

Voicemail and tennis bullies:
This is what I mean. People forget what he says. He wants a break so when people see him next month they will have forgotten his bullying words.
But I will be around to remind everyone. LOL

Polo Says:


I used to admire Federer very much, both his game and his behavior. But lately, both have deteriorated to the point that to me, he has started to look pathetic than the great champion that he was. If he only he had refrained from stricking his foot too much in his mouth, there would have been a good deal of things to remember and admire about the guy. Ironically, in spite of his successes, his recent action make me (and maybe others, too) think of him more as a loser. Too bad.

Voicemale1 Says:


If I understand you right – your point is the simple idea Federer’s meltdown happened just because..he lost a match? Forgive me then, but I think my attempt to explain it makes his meltdown more understandable. If you claim his crying resulted from the notion he lost a match, that makes him look much worse, in my view. Cry because you lose? And let’s be clear – this wasn’t just tears – he was sobbing to the point he had to step away from the microphone because he was too stressed to talk. If you say that’s because of the simple fact he lost a match, then I’d say that makes Federer an incredible narcissist, not to mention just a spoiled brat. Cry because you lose??? If that’s the case then you’d think Federer was the only person to ever lose a Major Final in the history of tennis. Or worse – Federer’s tears of losing are justified simply because he’s “Federer”. That’s the stuff you find in the Juniors..or the WTA LOL!!

At least my explanation (which I believe is a lot closer to the truth) makes it understandable why we saw the floodgates open up. Your explanation, that he cried because he basically lost & didn’t get the “record” he “dearly wanted” makes him sound like a Diva.

Polo Says:

I think Federer withdrew from Dubai and the Davis Cup because he is still crying uncontrollably.

jane Says:

MMT – The Davis Cup thing makes sense, because if they were to win, and as you pointed out, certainly Fed/Wawrinka would be equal contenders, then Fed would have to dedicate himself to playing on in the next round of ties, etc. This means it could, at least arguably, take away from his Grand Slam goals. And as you say, he can’t pull out of one without pulling out of the other.

As for the coaching thing, it was just a shot in the dark, as I really couldn’t think of a reason he’d want to pull out of these events besides injury.

To be fair to Roger, he did have a back injury at the end of last year so it is possibly the Australian Open caused it to flare up again. Maybe the back, as well as the reasons you mentioned, were enough, combined, to make him decide to bow out. I assume Federer will want to start focusing on bigger events now anyhow.

sensationalsafin Says:

The bull sh*t never ends, does it? Why are you people analyzing why he cried? He was upset for millions of reasons, one of which was probably the fact that he can’t beat Nadal when his ambitions are as high as can be. It happens. If you don’t like Federer then stop talking about him. Voicemale1, since you clearly understand him so f*cking well, give him a call and tell him you’ll give him therapeutic advice to get over his loss and whatever else you claim is bothering him. Federer has been playing Dubai since he was born, you think there are other reasons outside of injury that would keep him out of it? Maybe since he knows he doesn’t have a lot of points to defend he can pass it without worrying about his ranking and treat his back. How often do you see Federer’s serve percentage at 33%? I don’t think his back is so bad that he can’t play, I think it bothers him enough that taking some time off to give it more rest and healing it more is a great idea. How many times has Nadal injured his knees? Seriously, why did he play Rotterdam? Again, Nadal can still play, he did make it to the final after all, but he should probably give his knees more rest. As much as I want Federer to overtake him, I wanna actually see it happen. Nadal literally overtook Federer so Federer should have to do the same. All this talk about Nadal burning out is crap. If he still only had a FO or 2 under his name, then I wouldn’t care. But Nadal has established himself as an all-time great, who in their right mind would want to see him burn out and lose everything he’s earned without losing it to an actual player or players? Everyone needs to get off Fed’s AND Nadal’s d*cks because they really don’t give 2 sh*ts about your psychoanalysis of their games and lives.

jane Says:

We’ve seen Federer cry before – when he won the AO in 2006 he was nearly sobbing, well he choked it back mainly, although that time it may’ve been because Laver had handed him the trophy as that’s when he really breaks lose. This time Mirka was smiling, though, not covering her face. Maybe Laver makes him cry? LOL

Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZQ7WvxJ-ZU

john smith Says:

Federer won the us open and lost a 5 set match in the AO and you are writing his eulogy.unbelievable! there is nothing wrong with federer. you can’t win 3 grand slams every year. Nadal is a machine right now -did you see sum of his return volleys against verdasco and federer.

MMT Says:

Oh dear, SensationalSafin – you’re taking Safin’s loss pretty hard! Just kidding…

Fair enough, we’re all just speculating, and it is possible that his back is still bothering him from last November. I find that hard to believe, but it’s possible.

I am very disappointed that he won’t play Davis Cup, because that would have been a very interesting dynamic – Federer in a Davis Cup match that mattered to someone other than the Swiss. But my guess is we won’t see that too often in the future.

And Jane – I reiterate that Fed could use some coaching. The best example of that was the McEnroe/Lendl thing, but I’m sure there are others.

Do you think Tony Roache would take his call?

Daniel Says:

Voicemale, It was not just crying because he lost a match. For him it was THE match, a possibility of tieing the 14 Grand Slam. Who was the last person with an attempt on that???!!!!
Simplify it as just a lost shows your bias. He cryed like that because he was overwhelmed by emotion, some people experience those things, I was crying just watching, imagine for him!

tennisontherocks Says:

‘Fair enough, we’re all just speculating, and it is possible that his back is still bothering him from last November. I find that hard to believe, but it’s possible.’

MMT, I guess you are lucky enough not to deal with back injuries and I hope you stay that way. Based on personal experience, once the back troubles start, they NEVER go away. It’s easy for people to think that you are faking it as there is no blood on the floor, no noticeable limp and you can still belt away all the balls that land in your strike zone…and then half hour later, it will loosen up and you can do anything out there. So you try your best to strengthen it while maintaining flexibility and hope for the best.

andrea Says:

we all marveled at how roger maintained his dominance for years with nary an injury.

eventually, time catches up; especially physically. even though i’m a fan of his, it isn’t realistic that he maintained that same level of dominance for the rest of his career. last year the cracks started to show and now they are here to stay.

does this not make him a contender anymore? obviously not. but he also won’t be winning everything anymore.

and in regards to his AO loss, i agree that his crying was indicative of much more than just losing the match, despite how he expressed it in the press conference. but again, not surprising that he didn’t fess up in the presser. it’s an ego sport. and after being #1 so long, no doubt his ego is bigger than most. the AO loss was significant in many pyschological ways.

i don’t write him off for never winning anything again but he’s definitely got a nadal complex and i agree with jane – his serving was pretty bad in the final, which was likely back problem induced.

if he makes it back to #1 good for him; if not, then them’s the breaks.

daviscupfanmike Says:

hey federer, grow a pair u sob, u aint never catching pete with nadal stompin yo throat u disgraced ur self n country of switzerland. show some class n dignity in ur self if its even possible.

Voicemale1 Says:


I read your petulant little tirade, jumbled, distorted jibberish that it is. And I came to this conclusion: if anyone’s in need of psychoanalysis, it’s clearly you. Got get some. Quickly.

Voicemale1 Says:


margot Says:

Will someone please explain to me why big boys can’t cry? It is 2009 you know not 18009.
Also how do you know Roger if faking his back injury? Have you seen his medical records? If he is, his timing, which is usually impeccable, would be very off indeed. Surely the time to fake would be five zero down in the last set of the French Open?
In the same vein,I personally do not believe there is anything wrong with Rafa’s knees, he’s just going for the sympathy vote and to fool Roger. The tape is mere decoration…

margot Says:

Oops, read 1809 of course. Hard day at the office.

grendel Says:

Bad backs are mysterious things. As one who has suffered – not too badly – on and off all his life from them, I can vouch for the fact that you never know when the damn thing is going to go. It first happened to me when I was 16 years old, had just done a day’s shift in a kitchen restaurant, and was easing my bowels – as you might say – when I discovered (having completed the business in hand) that I was unable to rise. As it happened, I had a fairly important appointment looming, so I found myself in that quandary so familiar to the longterm back sufferer. What to do? Call for help? But – consider the circumstances, and besides the door was locked, and it wasn’t at all clear to me as to how I was going to unlock it. Eventually, there is nothing for it, you take a deep breath, and force yourself to stand up, hoping meanwhile that you can keep the screaming to an acceptably low level. It is the fear of the spasm, you see. Even a tiny spasm can be quite painful, but worse: it carries a hint of aweful things to come, the full blooded spasm where you are caught in unspeakable agony, quite unable to move and harbouring a deep fear that you will probably be trapped in this state for the rest of your life. And even though this never actually happens, always, upon the onset of a minor spasm you fear: this time, at last, it’s going to be the big one. A back spasm can occur at any time, without rhyme or reason. I once had a job shifting very heavy bags all day long, and for 6 months, nothing. Healthy as a sandmouse. Take a bit of time off, laze around – bang, back gone again. There is no cure. Time does the job well enough.

So Federer may be telling the truth. There is nothing inherently improbable in that, given the capricious nature of the ailment. But of course, a bad back has always been a handy excuse if you want a day off work. Nobody ever believes you, after all, they’ve used the same dodge themselves, but – there’s always the outside chance it is true.

Purcell Says:

Daviscupetc: What a pity you use the internet to abuse. Coward. Grow your own. Vegetables I mean. You certainly couldn’t grow your own b****. Perhaps when you become agriculturally efficient you can use a pair of sprouts as prosthetics.
Colin: Thanks for the intelligent word-play.
Federerfn: I’m sure Fed would be really, really, really bothered that…’ he would never be the greatest in your book….’ Do you know what libel means? Look it up-if you know how to use a dictionary then say sorry. Mummy might then give you a warm drink and a teddy before she tucks you up. Night night.
Roccamoccaetc: blahblahblahblah…..oh dear look what you’ve made me do. I’ve come down to your level. Never mind.
Ojo: You’re jealous because Fed can air his ‘big mouth’ in public whereas all you’ve got to air yours is this forum.
To those of you who suggest Fed is faking the back injury, please refer to TMC match with Murray. Do you want to operate on the same level as those who suggested that mono was fake last year?
King Roger: Change your name-yes Queen Rafa will do.
Daniel: You don’t have to make excuses. Fed haters do not need to be acknowledged-just ticked off for being naughty children.

tenisbebe Says:

Voicemail 1 – I totally agree with your analysis of Roger’s crying at the AO – he definitely has done so before but he was distraut. At first I thought as MMT did – that it was all about the 14th and how badly he wanted the record but upon reflection it seemed much deeper. He may have passed 2008 off as an anomoly – the mono, whatever – & was hoping, expecting maybe for things to back to normal – his utter dominance. But alas the AO was proof that things will probably never again be as they were 2007 & before with him winning 2 if not 3 GS’s each year. But if he is the great champion that many claim him to be, he must use this time wisely reaccessing to see if he can find a way to overcome the challenges (the back issue notwithstanding). That would really be incredible – if he can morph into another level. At 22, Raphael has shown it can be done.

sensationalsafin Says:

Voicemale1, let’s say you’re right about Federer. He’s not really injured, he just isn’t over his loss. He was crying because he realized his career has become incredibly hard with Nadal and others around that can beat him. So what? Should he quit tennis. Wtf do you expect him to do. As a fan, I couldn’t stand to read, watch, or talk about tennis for a week after the final. And I’m just a fan. Do you have any idea how he feels? Either way it doesn’t matter because he should atleast be present for the hardcourt masters tournys and we’re all gonna go right back to watching him. In the end, the only thing that should concern you is the tennis he plays. Who cares about when, where, or why he cries. It’s none of your concern. Now get off his d*ck already.

jane Says:

Well, Tony Roache, as far as I know is committed to coaching Hewitt at the moment, plus I don’t know on what kind of terms he and Roger parted company the first time. So who know if he’d take Fed’s call? I think Cahill or Gilbert would likely jump at the chance to try to coach Federer, though.

Ojo Says:

I am reading that it is Cahill…..

hannah Says:

Whenever I say it,, people always say no to me, but i think fed’s gonna retire this year when he loses french open in straight sets to Nadal again. i know it. ppl say he wants to beat sampras’s record, but no. he cant.

Ojo Says:

Ojo: You’re jealous because Fed can air his ‘big mouth’ in public whereas all you’ve got to air yours is this forum. From Purcell

Oh you cut me to the quick with your sharp wit, I bet you have an IQ of…oooh… 15, or am I being too generous?

fed is afraid Says:

roger’s problem is he started believing his press, and that he was just going to waltz to the best ever by passing pete’s 14 slams. he got complacent and consumed with his own greatness, while his fellow professionals were getting better, roger just stagnated. he should have had a coach 2 years ago. he should have been able to win at least one french, and now that is all but gone. it’s truly a shame how roger was taken over by his celebrity.

tenisbebe Says:

He said it himself – he created a monster.

Polo Says:

Purcell Says: “Daviscupetc: What a pity you use the internet to abuse…”

Aren’t you doing the same thing?

tennisontherocks Says:

‘hannah Says:

Whenever I say it,, people always say no to me, but i think fed’s gonna retire this year when he loses french open in straight sets to Nadal again. i know it. ppl say he wants to beat sampras’s record, but no. he cant.’

so you are at least sure that he will reach last 4 in Roland Garros to face Nadal…that will be 20 slam semis in row…not too shabby, huh???

Von Says:

I’ve been literally sitting on my hands in order to avoid commenting on the situation pertaining to Federer’s crying due to his recent loss at the AO, but I found it difficult to pass on this one due to my training in human development and our fragile emotions.

I’m positive that we’ve all at one point in our lives experienced a “good cry” — whether it was following a breakup, just after a really stressful day, or losing something that we’ve pinned our life’s hopes and dreams on attaining. In those circumstances, shedding some tears can often make us feel better and help us put things into perspective.

But why is crying beneficial? And is there such a thing as a “bad cry”? The answer is simple. When tears are shed due to a disappointment, they have a powerful effect on our psyche, a kind of washing out or catharsis of the pent-up negative feelings which we’ve been trying to control for a long period of time but which has become uncontrollable. Crying is so powerful that it is understood as not only a reflection of our internal feelings but also as a form of social communication and/or expressionism — we communicate by our tears to others how badly we feel about a situation where words fail us.

The manner in which tears are judged by others is affected by many factors, including the gender of both the crier and observer, whether the tears are perceived as angry or sad, and most importantly among adults, whether the observer interprets the crier’s tears as genuine or manipulative.

Psychologists/Psychiatrists have reached an understanding that a shift has taken place. In-depth studies have shown that in the past society judged men’s tears to be inappropriate. However, nowadays, the “Norms” appear to be changing. Today, both men’s and women’s tears are deemed most acceptable in extreme situations, such as the death of a loved one, a relationship break-up, and/or the loss or an unfulfillment of a long-term dream which the person perceives he/she has no control over, as opposed to situations deemed less severe, such as a computer or car crash, in which case can be repaired. These studies have proved that, in serious situations, tears were viewed positively regardless of the crier’s gender, race or the emotional motivation (anger or sadness) behind the tears.

Of course, there are many levels of crying, from slightly moist eyes to all-out bawling. And how you cry does make a difference. A moist eye is a signal of strong emotion under control, it was found that both men and women were determined more positively when they teared up than when they cried out aloud/bawled. That said, men get more of the benefit of the doubt overall, because on the whole, men tear-up, but women seem to be the bawlers. Oy Vey!!

There’s a positive though for the women, because it appeared that while women were believed to cry more intensely, they were also judged as being more genuine which suggested that they purposely displayed more intense tears than men.

In view of the foregoing, I believe that Federer’s tears emanated from a long period of disappointment, coupled with what he “perceives’ to be a very hopeless situation. It would also be safe to assume that the flare-up of his back injury is the result of a kind of psychogenic pain which is his physical compensating for his emotional. In his present state of mind, and until he is over this emotional pain, he’s following the best course of action by abstaining from competitive tennis. His is not the case of getting back on the horse like yesterday. Fed is hurting big-time.

Voicemale1 Says:


First, you’re wrong. I didn’t say he wasn’t really injured, or that his back issue was fiction. I said if it’s true, there’s not much he’ll be able to do about it to fix it. Back trouble is chronic, and since virtually all of your movement and stroke production relies on your back being completely pain free to be optimal. Federer’s gonna have a much tougher time just to get through matches for the rest of his career. It doesn’t matter how many tournaments he skips now – a true back problem won’t completely disappear. Go ask Andre Agassi.

And you’re wrong again in that his crying isn’t my “concern”. It sure is when he does it in front of all of us watching. And who said he should quit tennis? No one here said any such thing, or at least I didn’t. All I wrote, (and this presumes you can actually read what I wrote) was that his road through the Majors will be tougher than it used to be for a variety of reasons: loss of the Fear Factor in his rivals; his back issues; and his confidence being shakier than it’s ever been. It’s obvious you’ve got reading comprehension difficulties.

So instead of telling me to “get off his d*ck” (whatever the hell that means), here’s a suggestion for you: learn how to read. And once you accomplish that, learn how to actually understand what it is you eventually learn how to read.

By the way, why on earth would you have a screen name as ridiculous as yours is, claiming as “sensational” someone who’s the biggest underachieving might-have-been has-been in the game?

grendel Says:

Sensational Safin says:

” As a fan, I couldn’t stand to read, watch, or talk about tennis for a week after the final. And I’m just a fan”.

Perfectly put. Good to know I wasn’t the only one.

sensationalsafin Says:

I would like to apologize to you, Voicemale1. I’m just getting really frustrated about reading how Federer feels hopeless against Nadal and how he’s never gonna win another major, etc. The reason I took out my frustration on you is because you’re not a random troll like so many others here but you actually have legitimate claims and theories. So, I’m sorry. Honestly, I guess I’m in as much denial about the whole thing as Federer himself.

But, why do you have to attack Safin? What has HE ever done to you?

tenisbebe Says:

Well said Voicemail 1 – I’m not even going to ask about your screen name……

Sensationalsafin – don’t fret, the Fed will figure it out – he is a great champion. Also, rumors floating that Darren Cahill may be hired as his coach – just a rumor but to me it would show that he is very serious about steppin’ up. Yes!!!

alpha Says:

agreed, fed is not the great player he used to be and here are the real reasons:
1. fed reads lot of news about how people react to his wins, and that’s what made him psychologicaly weak

2. fed is thinking lot about records and all time great and stuff like that, and that’s what made him stumble and shake lately.

3. I hate it when fed replies, whenever asked what he discussed with Sampras or Tiger “we have been discussing how it feels being the number 1 of our sports”, that is really insane and not good. And I do respect the humbleness of Nadal on the contrary.

4. Fed is still a great player if he comes BACK down to earth and think about his tennis rather than how he would look in the news and in the record books. he difinitly need psychological help, this is sincere and serious and I hope he will read this.

5. I beleive he could have won the AO final if it wasn’t his psychological handicap that cuzed his service to melt down (and not his back injury).

6. seriously I beleive that he still can and will win 2 more grand slams. but I also strongly beleive that Nadal will catch him and will win more grand slams and will certainly be the greatest of all times.

Ojo Says:

he still can and will win 2 more grand slams. but I also strongly beleive that Nadal will certainly be the greatest of all times.

I agree with the second one.

Ryan Says:

“claiming as “sensational” someone who’s the biggest underachieving might-have-been has-been in the game?”

To Voicemale:

How can anyone say that safin is the biggest underacheiver? He was a former world no.1 and has won 2 slams by beating the best players the sport has ever seen federer and sampras. He wiped sampras off the court in that us open 2000 final in straight sets and then outlasted federer in his peak form in AO 2005.The biggest underacheiver could be a tomas berdych or nalbandian…….but safin has acheived a lot more than these 2 even though talent wise they are almost at the same level.

sensationalsafin Says:

No Safin is still the greatest underachiever because his talent is that much higher than Nalbandian’s and Berdych’s.

Ryan Says:

Maybe he has more talent than nalbandian but berdych has a lot of talent prolly as much as safin…..

Ryan Says:

i guess ur rite…..he has a winning record over both the players despite all the injuries and everything he has been thru…..yeah he coulda been the greatest ever….but i dont know who has more talent…..fed or safin?

sensationalsafin Says:

Not a debate I want to get into since both of them currently have a lot of shit on their plates.

Ryan Says:

Nadal is the GOAT. Federer will go outside the top 10 very soon.

Twocents Says:


On boy crying: how about “don’t ask, don’t tell”?

Got this quiz from a friend:
Can anyone remember when the last time that Nadal lost a match where he wasn’t injured or tired? Sergio Roitman in Mallorca 2001.

fed is afraid Says:

Fed is the GOAT. Nadal will go outside the top 10 very soon.

kenny todd Says:

All you knowitalls dont’ know nothing about tennis, you should try playing a real tennis player and see what happens. You who insult players in the top ten should look at yourself in the mirror and take a look at the fat pig you are. Get up and exercise you couchpotatoes, tubs of lard and play the sport we all love.

Abol_Tabol Says:

Federer is simply not good enough for this level.

grendel Says:


Peter Fleming, that man of wrath and wisdom, was asked recently if he thought Safin would regret not having devoted himself more exclusively to tennis. Peter gave his interlocutor one of those long, dreamy looks as if to say, well I am in this racket to talk, so I suppose I ought to give this fool an answer. No-ah, he replied with that pointed smile… Fleming’s point, of course, is that Safin has recognized we only live once, and in particular, we are only young once. The 25 hour a day grind of the ambitious player was not for Marat. No amount of fame, in this view, justifies the sort of manic singlemindedness required to win endless slams. Fame, anyway, is a fickle thing. In 40 years time, maybe nobody will care.

Sampras has explained what it took to gain his haul. Doesn’t sound healthy. When he retired, Sampras didn’t want to go near a tennis racket for a number of years. And then that feeling of emptiness came. I doubt Safin will ever feel that. And then, look at the turmoil Fed is in. Overweening ambition exacts a heavy price. Nadal seems o.k. at the moment, sort of, just about, more or less. Let us see in ten years time.

Most Sports seem to have their Safins, players of overwhelming brilliance – and such fun to watch, too, when everything is clicking – who can thrash anyone on their day, but which day doesn’t come around too often. And the sport is the better for them. Voicemale 1’s remark is just ignorant. Don’t get me wrong, the sport needs its Federers and its Nadals – sacrificial victims you might say, looking at it from a somewhat eccentric angle – but we don’t want everybody like that. What a bore. I would put Monfils in the Safin category. One day, I hope he’ll beat Nadal at the French, he’s got it in him – but only once. God forbid that the glorious, and utterly furstrating and maddening and magnificent spectacle which is Monfils should ever be reduced to the desperately earnest grind. And yes, we need the grinders too. All sorts, please.

Meanwhile, there is the question of injury. No assessment of Safin is sensible without bringing that up. The man has been plagued by it, and there’s not a damn thing he could have done about it. Subjecting him to petty abuse is just, well, petty. Smallminded.

Hurrah for couchpotatoes.

Signed: Couchpotatoe.

Von Says:

Two Cents:

“Can anyone remember when the last time that Nadal lost a match where he wasn’t injured or tired? Sergio Roitman in Mallorca 2001.”

2007 in Toronto when Djoker beat the Nos. 3, 2, and 1 players To win the Toronto MS. I remember it well. That was the beginning of Roddick’s Fall out of the Top 3. And, then in 2008 in Dubai when Roddick beat Nadal. Also, Nadal was well in Miami last year too when Davydenko beat him, but one of his fans argued rather vehemently, that he wasn’t 100 per cent at that time.

jane Says:

Yep – who wouldn’t come to the defense of Safin, who was, is and will always be “Sensational”!!!

Ryan, this is very, very well said, so I’ll reiterate it “How can anyone say that safin is the biggest underacheiver? He was a former world no.1 and has won 2 slams by beating the best players the sport has ever seen federer and sampras. He wiped sampras off the court in that us open 2000 final in straight sets and then outlasted federer in his peak form in AO 2005.”

Also agree with grendel’s assessment of those who will come along and shine bright and move on. Won’t have to be the GOAT, won’t want to be either. These will be moving on to greener pastures elsewhere… I’ll miss Safin but am happy he’ll be happy.

Ryan Says:

Thanx Jane….I know support is tough to get.

Purcell Says:

Polo-….abuse etc .Don’t you think I thought about that before I posted? However, people can get back to me if they don’t like a ticking off but the tennis players who are being insulted, shown disrespect, given crackpot advice, accused of lying etc don’t have that luxury.
Incidentally, look at Ojo’s smart response to my post. Durrrrrr.
Re that I would go along with Sensationalsafin…’The bull**** never ends..’

Polo Says:

I do agree with your assessment of Federer and I hope Federer gets to read your analysis of what is causing his curent problems. Then again, I believe that his ego has gotten so big that he only takes in those in praise of him.

Safin indeed is sensational. He is among the best who ever played in many levels of the game including talent and personality. He achieved what any tennis player would dream to achieve such as winning slams and reaching number one. He has beaten those considered the best in their times. And those victories occurred during slam events. Therefore, there is no tennis player who can claim outright that he is better that Safin. In spite of his temperament, he is quite level headed in that he did not overreach in an attempt to be considered the greatest of all time (which I think is unrealistic. Safin always appears to me as a very pleasant person, somebody who would be nice to have as a friend. Former coach Lundgren said that he reads a lot which explains why he appears quite intelligent when he gives interviews. I don’t know any player who is as good as Safin in all those many aspects. And he is good-looking too on top of all that. In my eyes, Safin is the best man who played tennis that I have ever seen.

Polo Says:


I know some of the posts here are quite irritating and the language used is something you would not want your kids to hear. They do that on purpose. Some people love to be irratating and when they sense that they are able to do it, it feeds on them to do even worse. There are many here who posts sensibly without using unfounded conjectures. Those are the people one needs to argue with. It is very difficult to argue with the ignorant. They could suck you into their vortex until you become just like them.

Polo Says:


Sorry, I didn’t mean to pontificate either.

jane Says:

Nadal has now officially withdrawn from Dubai as well.

sensationalsafin Says:

Yay for Safin!! I just want to see him perform amazing in one more tournament before he retires. Just one is all I ask.

kenny todd, I am not a pig or fat in any way. But I am a qualified couch potato and there are days when I’m damn well proud of it. I agree though that it seems like a lot of people criticize these top 10 players as if though they’re chumps. I’ve played tennis at the junior level and I know that I’d literally get blown off the court by any pro, Future level and up. The thing is, when watching Federer vs Nadal for example, I see Federer make so many stupid mistakes in terms of UE’s and overall strategy. I yell at the TV and call Federer stupid and tell him to quit tennis. Who am I to judge? Well, I’ve also seen him play absolute perfect tennis and I know, just from experience, that he misses a lot of shots he really shouldn’t be missing against Nadal and that’s because Nadal is in his head, not because it’s a hard shot to hit or anything. My point is, some of us do know a thing or 2 about tennis, and it’s pretty easy to rule out who. (Hint: if someone simply comments “Fed sucks and Nadal rules,” he’s probably one of the pigs you’re referring to).

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