So the injury reports that came out in yesterdays press conference after the victory against Seppi turned out to worse than we first feared as Fed had to withdraw from his Semi Final against Tsonga.
From what I gather Roger has some muscular pain in his back, something which has plagued him before in the past, and was the reason for his only other withdrawal from a match back in 2008 at the Paris Masters in Bercy.
I don't feel a whole lot of improvement for today, and I just don't think it's the right time to risk anything more right now.
I don't think it is anything overly serious, and his withdrawal is more precautionary than anything. The good news is that it's only a muscular problem – so with rest and plenty of physio he should be fine. And I'm confident, and hopeful he recovers in time for the AO.
Without doubt though, this is the right decision to make before such a big tournament like the Australian Open – it would have been stupid to risk more injury playing 2 matches in an ATP Masters 250 tournament.
I also think it was great that Roger came out on court and explained to the fans his decision, it was very classy and respectful, and it's the first time I've seen a player do that. Where was Murray at the o2 when he withdraw? Did he come out on court and apologize to his handful of supporters? Nope, he started moaning about the length of the tour!
I'm also sure that this will set a trend now when other players withdraw from matches, they too will come out and apologise, and we will know they are only doing it because Roger did it in Doha. Meaning it's insincere, and only because their PR team think it's a good idea. This is one of the many reasons I decided to support Roger from the start, it was clear to me he wasn't, for want of a better word – a knob. He has always stayed true to himself, he loves the game, stands up for what he believes in, plays with a conscience and will always aim to do what is right. Allez les suisse!