It’s going from bad to worse for Roger Federer this summer, and not even playing in his backyard helped. The Swiss today was stunned in his opening match by German Daniel Brands routinely 6-3, 6-4 in the Gstaad Swiss Open.
I didn’t see any of the match but there are reports that the back was again an issue. If you are a Federer fan, that’s your saving grace at this point because if he was 100% and he’s losing like this – his third bad loss in as many events – then it’s almost time to start panicking.
Brands, though, is a decent player and has a very powerful game. He pushed Rafael Nadal on the French clay in May and took a set of Roger last week, but really for Federer this is his event and when he’s healthy he should be able to handle a guy like him, as he did a week ago in Hamburg. Yet today he couldn’t even manage a set?
“For sure the altitude has helped me,” Brands said. “I served well and put pressure on him from the very beginning. It helped that I already played him in Hamburg last week. Of course you are very impressed when you face him on the court for the first time. It’s completely different from what you see when you watch him on TV once you see him on the other side of the court.”
Federer is of course using a larger frame racquet and his aim of playing this mini-clay swing this summer was to test it out. Well, so far so bad I’d have to say. It’s been a failure.
So it’s questionable if he’ll continue to use the new racquet here in the U.S. Or does he go back to the old racquet?
And really, this summer clay series has been a flop overall for a guy looking to gain confidence heading into the hardcourts. Is he in better mental shape now than he was after the Wimbledon loss? I’d say he’s got to worse now.
Stakhovsky, Delbonis and now Brands? Not exactly murderer’s row there! (Hey, at least the guy who beats is higher ranked each week!)
But a lot does hinge on the state of his back. If it’s that bad then he has something to mitigate the pain. Then again, if it was even an issue in Hamburg why even play Gstaad?
Federer quotes below:
“I got a few chances but finally couldn’t take advantage of them… I wasn’t consistent enough in the end. He was serving well and I couldn’t do enough with my return.”
“I decided after today’s warm-up whether I would play or not… I’m happy that I was able to play because I’ve had problems for some time now, already in Hamburg. But it didn’t get worse during today’s match. I’m positive and I felt that it was getting better during the last few days.
“I’m still happy that I came to Gstaad this week. It was great being back here and the crowd gave me a fantastic welcome.”
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