20th Win in a row. However, the 6:3, 5:7, 6:4 in the quarter-final in Doha against the South Tyrolean Andreas Seppi (ATP 38) Roger Federer is anything but business as usual.
During the paging he sits down hard, each is already far ahead of the “Time” call by the referee to the baseline.
He hardly ever strikes on more than 190 km / hr. And he lost in eight games for the first time a set against Seppi.
In an interview with the 30-year-old delivers Blick.ch Swiss after the statement. “In the match on Wednesday, has suddenly closed down my back,” he says. A severe spasm.
Actually, he would have liked a day off, but that is not possible in Doha, because the final ison Saturday on the program.
With a lot of massage he gets his back up so far that he can play against Seppi. “I am glad that I could play at all,” said Federer. “And I almost surprised that I’m through.”
Nevertheless, calms the Basel: “It’s a muscular problem, fortunately, nothing really bad.”
Therefore, he will probably try it in the semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (ATP 6).
“I have not played against Seppi, and then give up tomorrow ‘, is Federer’s fighting spirit.”There is also a small chance against Federer.”
As you can see Roger is now on a 20-match winning streak. Not bad for a past prime Fed. As you can also see he started having back problems on Wednesday in his match against Zemlja. You would never think it though. Roger is good at hiding injuries. If he had a back spasm against Zemlja then he would have had it treated before his match against Seppi. So you would think that it would have been feeling better against Seppi than against Zemlja. But of course it is hard to tell. We just don’t know how he felt out there. My first reaction when I saw the score against Seppi is that Roger was having his ‘off’ match for the tournament. I watched the first set and Roger looked fine, after which I fell asleep. I am catching up now on the rerun though. I’m not sure what happened in the second set as Roger fell behind 5-1.
He then got both breaks back, only to lose serve again at 5-6 and lose his first set in eight meetings to Seppi. Seppi was playing pretty well. He is not a player who has any big weapons to hurt his opponent with, but he hit some really nice backhand down the line winners. In the third set Roger got the break early on which was enough to give him the edge in the third set. The first serve was once again at a high 69% although he could not hit it as hard with his back problem. I guess that is an obvious indication that he was struggling with his back in this match. When I first saw this result I thought Roger was having his ‘off’ match and I was convinced that he would be in JesusFed mode in the next round and destroy Tsonga. After hearing about the injury I am not so sure however. It kind of reminds me of the 2009 Masters Cup where he had back problems against Murray.
This is a similar situation and the back may affect him again against Tsonga. I won’t mind if he loses against Tsonga as I said before. He has now had enough competitive matches and it may be better if he loses and rest the back for Melbourne. I would have liked to see him face Nadal but then he must be at his best and I don’t want him to make the back worse before Melbourne. We will see what happens against Tsonga. This is now the seventh time these two will meet since Wimbledon, and Roger leads the head-to-head 8-3. He thoroughly got revenge for that Wimbledon loss so it’s not such a big deal if he loses here. He still rules the head-to-head. If he loses then his back will get more rest and he will go into Melbourne with slightly less pressure as well. He will get some more treatment after today and maybe he will be OK against Tsonga.
It is after all just a muscle problem. He may not need much time to rest it before Melbourne. Nadal played against Youzhny today and won 6-4, 6-4. Nadal struggled to get over the line in final game but in the end it was a fairly comfortable win. Nadal will now play Monfils, so we have the top four seeds in the semis. It seems Nadal’s shoulder problem has also disappeared. I think he will be too good for Monfils and then we will see if Roger can beat Tsonga for a fifth straight time with his problem back.