Hey guys, I'm sure most of you have already heard the news but Roger has been forced to withdraw from the finals in London due to a back injury. I briefly mentioned in my post that he may have tweaked his back during the tie breaker yesterday vs. Wawrinka and it turns out that was definitely the case.
If you watch the match highlights you can see there's no leg bend on the serve at 6-6 in the tiebreak and he also doesn't bend over to return serve on match point. I almost feel like the slice he hit on match point was a real panic shot and had it drifted long he might have decided to give up the match and put Stan through. As it happened though it landed in and he made the volley to win it but looked very disappointed at the net like he knew what was coming tomorrow. Clearly not the sort of guy who ever gives up a match but he did have a look of “did I do the right thing?” on his face.
Roger addressed the fans on court immediately after the Doubles Presentation and revealed he wasn't able to play due to an injury he sustained late in the match vs. Stan. According to Chris Kermode, Roger rang him this morning and said he wasn't in great shape but would give it until this afternoon after seeing his physio. Things didn't go to plan and he's clearly in no fit state to play or make the match competitive which is why he has decided to withdraw. He also risks doing irreparable damage which just isn't worth the risk for one match so no complaints from me that's he's pulled out. He's only every withdrawn from a match twice in his career previously so this is a very rare thing.
Thankfully for fans Andy Murray has stepped in to play Djokovic in an exhibition match which is a decent gesture and should win him back some fans this time around 😉 . There's also going to be a doubles featuring Henman and Rusedski which should be a good laugh.
The big question now is whether or not Federer can make the Davis Cup next week, it's just 5 days away which isn't long at all and certainly too short a time frame to recover from a back injury.
I'm of the opinion if he's injured then he should skip the Davis Cup and the IPTL and rest for next year, it's just not worth the risk to slug it out on the most physical surface of them all and I think clay has the possibility of exacerbating the back injury like it did in Hamburg and Gstaad in 2013.