Roger Federer Withdraws From ATP Finals Match Against Djokovic Due To A Back Injury [Video]

by Staff | November 16th, 2014, 12:52 pm

Roger Federer made an unfortunate announcement on court today less than an hour before his scheduled championship match against Novak Djokovic in the London ATP Finals.

Due to a back injury, Federer told the crowd, he would be unable to compete in the match.

“I am sorry to announce that I cannot play the finals tonight vs. Novak,” Federer posted on facebook. “I hurt my back late in the match yesterday against Stan. I am very disappointed and I hope to be feeling better soon. It’s been an extremely difficult decision because I love playing in London and the ATP World Tour Finals have been an absolute highlight of my career. Unfortunately, my back problem does not allow me to play right now. I hope all tennis fans and those involved in the event will understand.”

This is the first time in the history of the event the final will not be played. It’s also the third time in his career Federer has withdrawn from a match. The Swiss withdrew against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 2012 Doha and also against James Blake at 2008 Paris. He has never retired from a match.

In place of the match, Djokovic will face Andy Murray in an exhibition pro set starting at 2pm local time.

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62 Comments for Roger Federer Withdraws From ATP Finals Match Against Djokovic Due To A Back Injury [Video]

sienna Says:

that does not look good for DC or did he precautionairy measures?

django Says:

I read someplace that ljubicic saw fed in practice earlier and it looked like he had back problems. Why didn’t he let wawrinka win it? Now there is no final and novak is denied a win and head to head. Will he quit Davis cup?

Tennis Fan Says:

What choice does he have. Would have liked to see Wawrinka too in final … but do you really want him to throw a match?

Sadly we may not see Fed back at this great level again …

Gordon Says:

Why didn’t he let Wawrinka win it?

I dunno – maybe he felt the problem could be corrected. Maybe going into yesterday’s match it didn’t bother him as much as it does now.

Margot Says:

Fed has played more matches than any of the other top players. Am wondering if that has been a contributory factor.

Mr. Larvey Says:

This makes me very sad. I hope the back heals quickly and he can play on next weekend.

brando GOAT poster Says:

@django: I think the issue arose in the 3rd set tie breaker. Prior to then I seemed fine, so Fed was right in what he did. He did his best, 100% and we should appreciate his effort. I just hope this is not his last major final since its an awfully unfortunate manner for it to play out.

Emily Says:

@Tennis Fan, I don’t want to ever see a player throw a match or give up. However, after his withdrawal, part of me just wishes he had let one of those match points go the other way. I wouldn’t want that type of win, but this now sucks for him, Stan, the tournament, and possibly Davis Cup.

django Says:

Mac brothers discussing how stan had some issues during the match with feds box and afterword in the locker room there was something going on with them.
jmac said stan devastated and also that fed should have retired during match with wawrinka.
during speech fed talked about his old age…strange

brando GOAT poster Says:

What does this mean for Davis cup? Fed has 4 days to get right for match one. Will that be enough? Especially for a 5 setter on clay? It would be a sad, sad, sad thing if Fed cannot win a major title this year since he deserves it playing like he has done at age 33.

brando GOAT poster Says:

Some say age does not matter in tennis: well hear Fed’s speech and you’ll see it does. He’s been outstanding this year at such a age.

jane Says:

django, on twitter someone said stan yelled at mirka! but i never know what’s true on twitter. it’s truthiness at its finest.

madmax Says:

18.04 We’re waiting for Novak Djokovic to appear and collect the trophy before the exhibition. Sky has said that Stan Wawrinka could barely walk this morning, which ruled him out of stepping in to replace Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori’s wrist stopped him, too. Murray, who has had a couple of days rest, was the ideal substitute (and perhaps the only one left capable of standing in).

John McEnerney writes, summing up the collective sense of anti-climax:

What a huge disappointment that we won’t see Novak v Roger but I think it’s a shame that the fans have to watch Andy Murray again (exhibition or not )he finished for the year & he’s as John Mc said close to season burnout after that mad rush to qualify for The Tour Finals. He would have been better off just getting back into it & not worried about this one. Get one or two of the ex champs to play a set.

Well, what a gentleman. Federer! Unscripted drama! Who could have thought that this would happen?

Also, great that Andy could step in.

Hope it’s a great exhibition match and that everyone is able to enjoy this “second” final.

Fed would not have done this, we all know, if it wasn’t serious.

Sad, but true.

Congratulations to Novak. He has earnt the title and he has earnt the world number 1. Not in the way he would have liked, but he has done enough this year to warrant the win.

I absolutely did not expect Federer to win the final, after the mammoth match yesterday.

Rest up Fed!

The incredible semi final yesterday, late into the night, was the final for me. :)

The organisers, I think, with something like this really need to take into account late night matches. Same for all tournaments. Carry it over to the following day and let the players rest and recuperate properly.

SX1 Says:

He might had no idea during yesterday match that injury was so serious and as he mentioned that it occurred during late in that match …keeping in mind old man back track anybody should have no doubt ..i remember how he played against humble rafa couple of years ago at IW though injury was apparent before the start of match & people expected a withdrawal.

tennismonger Says:


What a disaster.

What kind of team will the Swiss field in a few short days…?

@#&*$%@!&*$%#@ year-long tennis season…this has to stop!

brando GOAT poster Says:

If Jane’s tweet on the other thread is correct ( i think it is since the source is reliable) there is possibly more drama awaiting down the line. Crazy stuff!

Margot Says:

Gosh this feels surreal! Think Andy would rather be somewhere else.
Nice hug between them at the net..wub.
Looking forward to the doubles tho! Go MacAnd!

jane Says:

here’s another, it’s now spreading through twitter:

Barry Flatman ‏@Barry_FlatmanST 1h1 hour ago
My understanding is there’s a little more to Federer’s withdrawal than a straight pull out through injury

jane Says:

margot, i wanted an andy/nole final but not in this weird way. nice to see them laughing together though.

madmax Says:

Henman talking, said he spoke to Fed and said this morning it had siezed up..the back and waa “incredibly uncomfortable”. Henman said, wait for it…”You would like to think it was an alignment issue, something popped out of place, may be some manipulation, it would sort itself pretty quickly. Davis cup is on clay and there is an adjustment there as well…wait for it…, he goes on to say.

Career 995 wins, lost 226 matches. Never has he pulled out in a match that has started.

All from the horse’s mouth. Henman, thank you!

Roger just said his farewells and he is obviously off to rest and try and get his body into some sort of shape.

Can you imagine trying to sleep after that match against Stan, late last night? Almost impossible I would imagine?

brando GOAT poster Says:

Twitter going crazy with talk of a Federer wawrinka fight last night. Could it be: wawa’s in London but wants nothing to do with this and Fed Will withdraw from dc since he ain’t it in a team mood with wawa? Pure speculation but if wawa went at his wife as some have said: then who knows.

brando GOAT poster Says:

Fed confirms on Facebook his back issue arose in the match.

jane Says:

Marianne Bevis ‏@MarianneBevis 1m1 minute ago
A shout-out to @andy_murray for stepping into the breach at short notice to play 2 exhos for disappointed & sold-out O2.One of the good guys

indeed- good job andy!

Margot Says:

Stan certainly got very cross with someone in the crowd. My comms didn’t say it was to do with Fed’s box tho. At one stage it looked as if Stan was going to go and have a personal “go.” He kept complaining at the useless ref. too.

van orten Says:

Anyone remembers toronto? He had only a few hours till the final after the semis

michael Says:


brando GOAT poster Says:

Stan got mad at uncle Toni last year at wtf so he’s not afraid to rail against a family member of a big name and a friend. Rafa said he apologized straight after the match though. IF it was mirka he could have done the same. My 2 cents: I do not know if it was mirka. All I know is I was thinking at the Times “yikes does Stan seem peeved off!” And Fed did not look too pleased at the end either. Doubt McEnroe would lie also since: why? What has he to gain? It’s all speculation at the moment and I just hope it ends up as BS, but I’m not to certain if its untrue.

jane Says:

margot “useless” indeed. i think a loud crowd is fine, but i do take issues with hecklers who yell out between serves or taunt players, that sort of thing. i remember once at the us open during a rafa vs. mardy fish match, there was an idiot who kept yelling during rafa’s serves to “help” mardy. that heckler was removed. the umps/refs have to first ask the crowd to “be quiet” but i think if it’s out of control the spectator should be removed.


ricky dimon has now posted something about stan coming into press looking like he’d seriously been crying. lots of drama.

Margot Says:

Oh dear, now comms saying Andy tweaked his arm during warm up! What next?
Loads of drama indeedy!

Okiegal Says:

@Jane 1:57…..I think that was the time that Mardy told the umpire to let Rafa have another serve. The fan hollered out just has Rafa was starting to release his serve. Fans can be so idiotic at times!

You can bet if something went awry between the two, someone will get to the bottom of it and the whole world know……just a matter of time. No secrets in the locker room, me thinks! Lol

Polo Says:

Murray just beat Djokovic! Hahaha! WTF lives up to its name.

kriket Says:

And Fed misses the press conference too.

Margot Says:

After the last disastrous match, perhaps that wee match did Andy some good? Getting back on the horse etc.
Interviews :) wub Andy making jokes ahhhh

jane Says:

margot, yes i read that. :/ these guys need some time off!

more nice tweets about andy stepping in:

Caro Paquin ‏@caropaquin80 28m28 minutes ago
Seriously, his accepting last-minute to play, even for a set, should give you a good inkling of how great a person Andy Murray is.

fed has announced he won’t do a press conference today so i don’t think we’ll be finding out more right now okie.

jane Says:

awww, andy said he pushed fed to hard the other day. ha ha.

andy and nole:

Colin Says:

Margot, you mean “useless umpire”. There is a referee at tennis tournaments, but it’s a different job.

The lead article says the exhibition set with Andy and Nole starts 2 PM, local time. It’s now 7 PM and they are playing, so it must be a damn long set! I’m not bothering to watch, as you can’t expect Nole to be trying very hard, but next is a doubles with Andy and John McEnroe vs Tim Henman and Pat Cash. It’ll be fun watching silver-haired JMac.

BTW when I read the possibility of Stan having issues with Fed’s box I completely misunderstood, thinking of a rather different meaning for “box”!

django Says:

One time Roger told novaks parents to be quiet. Maybe stan told Mirka to be quiet. Fed got pissed off and marched into locker room and stan gave him a piece of his mind. Maybe no Davis cup for stan?

Polo Says:

Tennis always had the crappiest umpires and referees.

Eric Says:

McEnroe is an unreliable moron, full of hot air. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were tension between Fed and Stan but what could that possibly have to do with Fed’s withdrawal?

I’m also having a hard time imagining what Stan could object to in Mirka’s behavior… she’s always, well, quite stoic, yeah?

Polo Says:

Lots of speculations and maybes. Pretty soon some people would think they are facts. We don’t need gossipy unfounded news right now.

jane Says:

polo i think it was 8-5 nole, but just one set, and all in fun. still, great for (and of) andy to get back on court, lighten the load and have a good time.

Giles Says:

I did say at the start of this WTF that it’s JINXED. Disappointed that we did not have a final. This must be the first time in the history of WTF that we’ve had this scenario. Very sad.

Margot Says:

Ahhh my two favourite players of all time on court together wub. And no, the other one isn’t Henman!

jane Says:

are they a team?

Humble Rafa Says:

Let me clarify what happened yesterday. The Best Backhand in Switzerland asked a 16 year old Swedish boy sitting next to Mirka for a date. Mirka got mad that the Best Backhand in Switzerland didn’t ask her. It’s very complicated.

django Says:

It is over. No press conference from Roger ….

Polo Says:

I think Andy is a nice guy and has a great sense of humor.

madmax Says:

jane Says:
margot “useless” indeed. i think a loud crowd is fine, but i do take issues with hecklers who yell out between serves or taunt players, that sort of thing. i remember once at the us open during a rafa vs. mardy fish match, there was an idiot who kept yelling during rafa’s serves to “help” mardy. that heckler was removed. the umps/refs have to first ask the crowd to “be quiet” but i think if it’s out of control the spectator should be removed.


ricky dimon has now posted something about stan coming into press looking like he’d seriously been crying. lots of drama.

November 16th, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Jane Yes. At the end of the match, was said that Stan looked absolutely devastated. The match was his really. With those 4 match points. Wouldn’t be surprised if he cried over that one. Was so very close.

milenka glisovic Says:

“Murrey just beat Djokovic.Hahaha”
That was very bad.Novak did not do eny thing to be trited like that.
Shame on ….

Polo Says:

Snap out of it, Milenka! It was a one set “exhibition” match as a consolation to the crowd who paid lots of money so that they can at least see something. It does not mean anything!

milenka glisovic Says:

Yes, I do know but what was your joke about?

Okiegal Says:

@Jane…..”We probably won’t be finding out anything soon”…….you’re right, I’m sure, but I’m going to see if I can get Pam Shriver on the case, she’s not shy about asking questions…..a very nosey gal who can get the scoop!! Lol I get the impression from reading a few of these comments that some seem to think this discussion is unwarranted coz J Mac wasn’t even in the locker room…..but you can bet your life somebody was!

Giles Says:
Wawa says in this article “she did the same thing at Wimbledon”. Who is “she”?

django Says:

Mirka I believe . What set did this happen?

Emily Says:

I just rewatched the match and at 5 all in the third set, Stan had break points. When Fed got it to deuce, Stan pointed at the box and you can hear him say to the ref “Did you hear what she said?” He doesn’t make a huge deal about what may have been coaching, it is only a few seconds long, but the ref does say his name a few times to calm him down. I didn’t even notice it at the time and neither did the commentators on the Tennis Channel, but they did mention that Stan was holding nothing back in terms of hitting at net. Perhaps he wanted to win the match! People love this sort of drama, especially when it includes Fed who has avoided this stuff for the most part. It means they have more to talk and write about this weekend. I don’t know if Stan and Fed have ever been besties (neither has said so), but they do work well as a team. I hope they drop whatever this “long conversation” was about, put this match behind them, and go into the final healthy and united.

Gordon Says:

We are short on information so we are high on speculation.

Did Mirka disrupt Wawrinka’s concentration? She shouldn’t have done it if she did but so what? These things happen all the time. The Williams sisters had a series of hand signals from their box informing them when to challenge; uncle Toni has been guilty occasionally of coaching. Yeah, Nole’s parents (especially mom) used to get a little worked up but all of these – including a possible Mirka outburst – are minor.

Fed and Wawa have each other to thank for an Olympic Gold Medal in doubles and this week is not some exhibition match; they are playing for their country and trying to win Switzerland’s first Davis Cup. Both men are classy enough to sort this out and they will be surrounded by countrymen.

And… If Mirka is in Lille she will be vocally cheering for Wawrinka you can be sure. 😝

Okiegal Says:

Obviously a woman said something to get Stan all riled up…..the umpire called him off, which was a good thing. I’m really surprised it all went that far. The Williams sisters, Uncle Tony and Rafa don’t even need to be in this conversation. This is all about Stan and Fed and Mirka!

Giles Says:

Don’t know what the hell is wrong with Wawa especially since he teamed up with Magnus Norman. His behaviour at the AO final this year was particularly disgraceful especially when he was shouting at the Umpire DEMANDING to know the reason for Rafa’s MTO. Doesn’t he know the rules? He picks a fight during most of his matches now. He seriously needs to calm down as this behaviour can only have a negative effect on his career.

Giles Says:
Look! Mirka also does the on court coaching thing! Lol

Joe W Says:

I’m not sure if anyone else noticed – having four lumbar back surgeries I have a sixth sense when someone is experiencing back pain – but in the last game of the match Roger was caught on camera wincing after a the first or second point of the game on Stan’s serve.

He could not get into his usual “hinge” position for return of serve, that is bent knees with torso at a 90 degree angle angle to legs. He was standing straight up receiving 1st serves on the last two points of the match. Lucky for him he did not have to serve again. He might have had to default or just lost outright.

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