Hampered By A Bad Back, Roger Federer Now Faces Countryman Wawrinka This Afternoon
by Tom Gainey | March 13th, 2013, 9:17 am

All systems were go for Roger Federer on Monday at Indian Wells. That is until late in the match when the defending tournament champion aggravated his back again. Federer made it through Ivan Dodig 63, 61 but maybe there is some concern.

“At the end tweaked it a little bit,” Federer said on Monday. “But it’s not the first time it’s happened in my career, so, I don’t know, I know how to deal with it. I’m walking fine. I have a day off tomorrow. Everything is all right.”

Federer however didn’t practice at the tournament on Tuesday. And today his faces a much tougher test against Stanislas Wawrinka. The “lesser Swiss” has a very poor 1-12 record against Federer (only win was at 2009 Monte Carlo), but this year he’s been playing well, highlighted by a very memorable match against Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open where he lost 12-10 in the fifth.

Federer has dealt with back issues before. More recently last year at Wimbledon, which he ended up winning, and at the start of the season in Doha.

Federer has won Indian Wells four times, but the Swiss hasn’t won a title since Cincinnati last year. The winner of today’s match will play against tomorrow against the Rafael Nadal-Ernests Gulbis victor.

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15 Comments for Hampered By A Bad Back, Roger Federer Now Faces Countryman Wawrinka This Afternoon

alison Says:

With Rogers back been a little iffy,and Rafa been so rusty on HCs,the unthinkable could actually happen here and we could end up with a Ernie/Stan QTR,anyway this might be the best chance that these underdogs could have in a long time.

MMT Says:

If he’s not fit enough to play Wawrinka he shouln’t play at all, but I suspect he’ll play since he’ll have plenty of time to recover for the European clay court season. I think that match is 50/50 if he’s “injured” and 80/20 (to Federer) if he’s healthy.

I don’t see Gulbis beating Nadal – ever. He has the kind of game that’s like kryptonite to streaky players like Gulbis. A steady but agressive player might have a shot, but not a guy who’s idea of being patient is going for a second kill shot on his 3rd shot of the point.

RZ Says:

MMT, normally I’d agree with you re: the Gulbis-Nadal match up, but with only one HC match under his belt and his ongoing concerns with his knees, I doubt Rafa will do his usual running after the ball at full force. That could have an effect on the results. We’ll see…

jane Says:

Fed had a bad back at Wimbledon but he won the whole thing still. He’s had this on and off for a long time, since 2009?, and like he says himself, he seems to know how to work around it and/or treat it. I guess the main effect would be how his serve is impacted.

MMT basically I feel as you do re: Rafa/Gulbis. I can’t see Ernests winning because Rafa’s just so much more patient as a player. He can “work” a point! However, I guess if everything clicks for Gulbis, it’s possible. Very outside chance, though, imo.

Andy should have a straightforward match with Berloq – kind of surprised to see him there as I thought it’d be Kei, but Berloq played well on S.A. clay and if this court is playing sort of like clay, then that could explain the strong run. Berloq is kind of a character! In this section, though, I am super interested to see Andy and Delpo – it’s amazing that they haven’t met since 2009! That could be a great match. On the other hand, Andy could neutralize JMDP’s power in straights. It’s one i want to see mainly because it’s been so long. We’ve seen Delpo against the other top guys a lot more since 2009 – especially Fed and Nole, who seem to play Delpo quite a bit – so it’d be good to see where he’s at versus Andy, too.

Nole lost to Sam in Paris and he looks somewhat vulnerable, but still think he should come through if in tiebreaks maybe. It could come down to serving here, from both guys. Sam can get pretty error-prone at times, too. Always liked him though, so will enjoy this one.

rogerafa Says:

Roger has had a troublesome back for more than a decade. It flares up from time to time. This is the reason he cut down on his serve speed very early in his career. It seems this year has seen more issues than usual. In many of his matches this year, he has worn a kind of a vest underneath his shirt probably to keep his back warm. This extra precaution was surprising considering the heat in Melbourne and Dubai. I hope it is not all that bad since the path from now on is tough enough for Roger. Stan is likely to push him very hard. Then, if he gets by Stan, Rafa would be the clear favorite in the quarter final on this slow and high bouncing surface. Rafa still remains the ultimate challenge for Roger and even a fully fit Roger would have his hands full in that match. It may sound crazy since Rafa is still rusty on hard courts but I think he has an excellent chance of making it to the final. He is likely to be stopped only by Novak or Andy.

Sirius Says:


all of federer’s matches in melbourne were at night. as far as i know that its much colder at night there. the temperature was around 20 degree in his match against murray. i think Wog Boy posted something about the weather of australia in which he said something like ” you can get multiple seasons at the summer time in australia”. can’t remember it fully, but he said something like that

rogerafa Says:

@ Sirius

Yes, it is much cooler in the evenings ANYWHERE but not cool enough to warrant that sort of precaution unless something was wrong. 20 degrees can not be called “cold” and no other players seemed unaffected.

rogerafa Says:

I meant “no other player seemed affected.”

Sirius Says:

yeah, u have made some valid point. maybe he had something a bit serious with his back, that’s why all those precautions, i guess.

Just hoping that he and nadal makes it through to the QFs. Been starving for a fedal!

rogerafa Says:

@ Sirius

Starving for Fedal on this court and with Roger’s suspect back? You can not be serious. Unless you are a Rafanatic. He he he!

Sirius Says:

I think his back would be ok (remember wimbledon?). And he has beaten an in form rafa last year at the very same court. So, there’s a chance for fed, a good, good chance imo

btw, i’m not a rafanatic, pure fedfan. I just love to watch fedals because their matches are very exciting (to me) almost everytime no matter who the winner is! (except RG 08, MIAMI 2011, WTF 2011)

rogerafa Says:

@ Sirius

I was just kidding there with a pun on your name. I know who you are a fan of.

Yes, Rog did beat Rafa last year but, if you can recall, the conditions in that match neutralized the high bounce that Rog finds so difficult to handle especially on the backhand side. By some accounts, this year the court is even more slow and the bounce is higher. If they play under a hot sun, it could soon become an errorfest from Roger’s backhand side since Rafa’s cross court forehands will start jumping alarmingly. I hope it is a good match if it materializes but it is a terrible matchup (good back or not) on most surfaces.

Wog boy Says:


Yes, I said that in Melbourne you can have four seasons in one day. That is what we call here “Melbourne weather.”

Sirius Says:

^would like to experience “that weather” at least once in my lifetime

Wog boy Says:

^ I am sure you would have a time of your life in Melbourne. Beautiful city with lots to offer.

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