Hey guys, just a quick post about Roger's decision to withdraw from Montreal which all in all isn't a surprising decision after he revealed he was struggling with his back after the loss to Brands in Gstaad.
I'm personally glad he decided to skip it as he must ensure he's in good health for both the US Open and the indoor swing afterwards. It's of course a shame for the fans who have tickets and the tournament as a whole but Roger has to put himself first here and focus on the remainder of the season.
He already played Gstaad for the fans when he could have easily withdrawn but felt like he was obligated to play and that ended in another tough loss and no real positives. I think that playing Montreal could have been a risk that wasn't worth taking and he may have compromised the rest of the season had he decided to play.
Ok we all know he needs matches, confidence and more court time with the new racquet but he has to get those when he can play at 100% and not feel like his back is limiting what he can do on court.
From all reports Roger is still in Switzerland and has been practicing in Zurich with Severin Luthi (see picture below), it's a good sign he's still on the courts and I think he has to use this time to practice, rest well and also try and add strength to his back muscles. If it is back spasms as Roger stated in his Gstaad press conference then you don't actually treat those with over resting. Once the inflammation has died down then stretching and strength work are the best way to recover.
Cincinnati starts on the 10th of August which is a Saturday but I'm sure we won't be seeing Roger until the Monday or the Tuesday. It's not a given he will play Cincinnati either if his back is still an issue but heading into the US Open without any hard court tournaments under his belt would be pretty much a disaster.
Either way I'm confident he will make the right choice and do what he needs to do. The USO looks like a bit of a long shot for sure right now and he'd need to play out of this world but never say never.