Federer Officially Withdraws from Montreal

I am disappointed not to be playing in Montreal next week. It is a great tournament with amazing fans. I look forward to competing there in the future.

https://www.facebook.com/Federer

Well as expected Roger has withdrawn from Montreal after his back problems in Hamburg and Gstaad. I don’t think anyone honestly expected him to play Montreal with his recent back problems. The question was more whether he would skip Cincy and maybe the US Open as well. Apparently he is still in doubt for Cincy. Roger was already seen practicing on hard court in Zurich a couple of days ago and for that reason some people may have thought he would play Montreal. But clearly skipping Montreal is the right decision. Roger added Hamburg and Gstaad to his schedule with the hope of getting used to his new racquet and playing some more matches to gain confidence before the hard court swing, but his back didn’t play along and now he has to pay the price by at least missing Montreal. It’s a pretty frustrating time for Roger and his fans.

Roger’s US Open outfit

In fact it’s been that way ever since Rotterdam. Personally I have some time off for a change and would have loved to watch Roger a bit, but first Roger loses in the 2nd round of Wimbledon, then withdraws in the 1st round of Gstaad, and now withdraws from Montreal. What bad luck! Looking on the bright side of things Roger did say at the start of the year that 2013 would be a transitional year, so at least there is that. As usual we have had some good discussions on my last post and we have concluded that Roger shouldn’t play the exhos he is thinking about at the end of the year but rather focus on making the best of 2014, as it will probably his last chance to win a slam. As for the rest of the year it looks like he will try to play at least the US Open and then take it from there. The good thing is that he will have plenty of time between the US Open and his next tournament.

Love the shoes

If he decides to skip Shanghai he will have an even longer break. But does he need a long break for his back or does he need matches for confidence? This is the big question. We know he is seriously lacking in confidence and I don’t see how he is just gonna play the world on fire at Cincy and the US Open. I guess he will skip Shanghai again and play Basel, Paris, and the Masters Cup. But for now he has to try and make the best of Cincy(if he plays) and the US Open. It will be interesting to see how he fares. If he makes semis at Cincy and quarters at the US Open I’d be amazed. The back has become a major issue for Roger and things are uncertain. As a fan I can just take it tournament by tournament and see where things go. For now I will find someone else to support, and that will be Del Potro who won Washington today. Hopefully he can so the same at Montreal.

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27 Comments

  1. We can only speculate what will happen but from what i know and have seen it’s all about his back. If his back isn’t in good shape he can’t play and shouldn’t. No need to cause more injury. I am going to Cincy, my first pro tournament in my life and of coarse it is all about Roger. Got a post from them today saying he is still signed to come but if his back isn’t good i’m sure we won’t hear about the cancellation until a few days before. I am prepared for him not to be there if he can’t even if it will be sad. My wish above all is for Roger to be healthy. He must be having such a hard time dealing with the last few months. You know he loves to play but his body says no. Friends are telling me it will be a great time Roger or not.A Disnry World for tennis fans. Hope you are well Ruan and everyone else too.

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    Veronica Reply:

    There you are, Susan! It’s be ages since you commented! Yeah, I remember you told us about going to Cincy with a group of friends and now it’s happening, Susan!! Isn’t it just so exciting?!! If you haven’t seen him live before, you’d be amazed. He is even more handsome in the flesh, beautiful tanned flawless skin, beautiful hair (!)looks much taller and slimmer than on TV and I just love his shoulders and his swagger and the relaxed way he goes about doing everything!! And when you watch him move and play live, omg, you are in another planet, yes you are!! Enjoy yourself! I’m quite sure Roger will show up in Cincy!! It’s his favourite surface/tournament and I think his back is rested sufficiently and he is raring to go! (maybe with a two -hander as well – ugh! scary!!) Do give us a bit of a report if you can!! Good luck!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Don’t know what I would do without you on this blog Veronica. Always socializing with everyone and bringing this blog alive!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I must have missed this comment Susan. That’s exciting that you are going to Cincy. I hope for your sake Roger is there and you get to see him!

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  2. It’s certainly all about the back at this point, but I really hope it’s good enough to go in Cincinnati, as that will be a good break/resting period for practice and rehab of the injury. Of course it seems like the problem will never go away but it’s all about how well he manages it. I hope Roger skips Shanghai and just plays Basel, Paris, and the WTF (if he makes it). He will have better chances at Paris than Shanghai.
    I think that we haven’t seen Roger healthy for a vast part of this season. If he is healthy at Cincinatti and the USO he’ll be in with a fighting chance (depending on the draw) even with his low confidence level right now. I’m sure he’s not content with doing as poorly as he’s done so far this year and will want to finish strong.
    And is it true he’s going to play another set of exhibitions at the end of this year?

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    Kyle Reply:

    Just to be clear I meant in the first sentence that the break between Gstaad and Cincinnati should be enough with the right treatment, or I hope it will be. And it’s also a tournament he’s had great success at since 2005 so hopefully that helps him get some form back if he is healthy.

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    Susan Reply:

    I hope you are right Kyle.

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  3. I really hope that Roger plays Cincy. It’s really time to get back to winning ways and I sure hope so. Roger is practicing so I’m sure he’ll try. I am not quite sure but from the picture that is posted Roger is hitting with old Excalibur so maybe Roger just wants to be safe. That new racquets ghat be good but as of right now it hasn’t done squat for Roger’s confidence. I reiterate that should Roger have won the 4th set tiebreak in the 2nd round of Wimbledon, he would have gone to the semis and possibly the finals of Wimbledon. I also think that apart from the back problems, Roger would have won both Hamburg and Gstadd with the old racquet. I suddenly feel more confident that he might actually make a run now.

    The new racquet needs way more tweaking and right now Roger just can’t afford any more slips. I do agree that should work on his physique and his fitness though. The racquet change – that’s something else entirely. Had he won both tournaments or at least Gstadd – then maybe. Right now I am very happy he is back to the tried and true. At least for the short term… Who knows. He may even win the US Open like Sampras did some years ago. :-) ))

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The photo that is posted is photo shopped. He will play with his new racquet in Cincy and rightly so. It would be way to early to give up on it, especially since it was his back that forced him out of Hamburg and Gstaad. As for the 4th set tie break I don’t look at it the way you do. I think it was meant to be. He could have lost in the 4th set breaker to Benneteau in 2012 already, but that time he found an extra gear.

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  4. Feeling your frustration, Ruan. It’s weird to see the line up in Montreal and not have Fed to light it up. Makes one realize how tough it will be for his fans when he does indeed retire. My sense is that he will play Cincy and get a couple of good matches under his belt. I don’t expect him to win any tournament this season, but I think if he makes the semis and quarters, that will build his confidence for sure. 2014 is what I am looking for major wins.

    I also watched Haas play against Del Potro and even though he lost, I was struck by how aggressively he hits over his one-handed backhand. While Haas’s forehand is not match for Fed’s beautiful whipping shot, Fed could take a page out of Haas’s book. Haas is Fed lite in some ways on the backhand side, but he seems more willing to step in and rip, something that I am hoping this bigger racket will allow Fed to do. What do you think?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Sakhi we already saw Roger hit some good backhands in Hamburg with the new racquet. Hopefully that is a sign of what is to come. For me the most important thing is that he is aggressive on the return and not use that chip return. He has to risk more on the return, because the chip return doesn’t give him any advantage. It’s a nothing shot.

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    rich Reply:

    Absolutely.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Absolutely from me too, Rich!! Why, Oh why does Roger chip EVERY back hand return???!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Ru-an it is a NOTHING shot. Absolutely bonkers NOTHING!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I used to do the same thing when I played. It was probably the dumbest thing I ever did on a tennis court. Even a mishit offensive return that lands short is better.

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    Pryzm Reply:

    To me it seems that even in his heyday, say around 2006 or 2007 when I regularly started watching Roger play, he only rarely tried to hit outright winners on service returns.

    He seemed content to return the ball deeply, saying in effect to his opponent, ‘now we’re equal’, simply neutralizing his opponent’s serve and relying on his superior tennis skills to win the point.

    I see this as one area where Roger could fairly easily improve a significant aspect of his game.

    Thoughts?
    Pryzm

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    Ru-an Reply:

    With the chip return he is saying ‘now we’re equal’. But like you say he doesn’t hold the upper hand from the base line anymore, because the game has changed so much and there are so many strong base liners. So getting on equal terms off the return doesn’t do him much good. He needs to try and gain an advantage. Taking a risk on the return is in fact always better, because the server is expected to hold serve. Therefor you have nothing to lose by making an aggressive return. You may miss more returns but that won’t matter. You only have to make a few successful aggressive returns and you got the break. The chip return is a nothing shot. You are not putting any pressure back on the server.

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  5. Hey Ru-an. Roger desperately needs matches in order to boost his confidence. He has to believe in himself again, relax and play some beautiful tennis. He has to find the will to train well and sharpen his skills again. 2013 is surely a transitional year for Federer but still, it will be a huge letdown if he fails to qualify for the World Tour Finals. He’s currently at #7 (2695 pts) on the Race to London. Good thing that Tsonga who is at #8 (2455 pts) is not playing Rogers Cup. Wawrinka (#9 with 2150 pts) remains a threat though. I don’t know about you but I’ll be extremely disappointed if Roger doesn’t make it to London. That’s perhaps the only reason I kind of hoped that Roger would play Montreal. By playing only Cincy he puts pressure on himself, knowing that he has already skipped a Masters 1000 event where he could have gained a substantial amount of points. He knows he has to do well in Cincy otherwise his place at the WTF is at stake. If Tsonga hadn’t announced he’s out, I think Roger might have travelled to Canada. I’m sure Roger’s big goal now is qualifying for the WTF. And winning it is his realistic ambition; Roger loves the indoor conditions and the surface there and he could be merciless against anyone.

    PS. I think Roger at the moment prefers facing players like Almagro, Raonic, Feliciano etc rather than having to deal with Stakhovsky, Brands and players of that range.

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  6. Ruan,

    Up 30-15 in the 4th set at Wimbly against Staks, Roger hit a perfect cross court FH winner that was called out. The replays showed it to be inside/on the line, not even close to out. Terrible call, cost him the match. Where was his “team” on that one? Just not focused, as that would have likely resulted in Fed not getting broken, and he was into SS’s serve by that time. So yes, a single point changed the outcome imho. As for the new racket, I’m encouraged by what I saw from the BH side with it, even though he was injured for most of the matches when he was using it. Even hurt, Roger’s OHBH looked vintage with the new stick, which is still being modified based on RF’s feedback. But his serve is just not good enough, regardless of racket, with his bad back. IDC about records and hope Roger skips NA altogether if he is still injured. I’d rather see a healthy Roger from 2014-2016 than a compromised one for 2 tournaments in 2013, the now infamous “transition” year. Only Roger knows if he is healthy or not. I doubt it at this point, and Del Potro will also be the guy I cheer for while Roger is gone. He has the game to beat everyone, and if RF has to miss tournaments, I’d still watch and hope for JMDP to pull off what he did in 2009 all over again. He certainly looks to be in great form ATM.

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  7. check out the crazy new picture on fed’s website!! he’s playing with his old racket and is hitting a two-handed backhand!! funny but wtf!!

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    Veronica Reply:

    Thanks Sakhi! What is this!! Is Roger dropping another surprise bomb again?!! I can’t take it anymore!! First the WC claycourt tournaments, then the 98 stick and now the two-hander!!!! I don’t think he would deliberately post a photo like that for fun. He loves dropping hints and surprises. What does this mean, guys?! The man is going through “re-invention overload” or what?!! CAN’T wait!! Wow!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Don’t get too excited Veronica. I can guarantee you with 100% certainty that Roger will not switch to a two-handed bh. Neither would I want him to.

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    Veronica Reply:

    You spoiler, you absolute spoiler, Ru-an! Roger was about to whack a scintillating two -handed back hand return winner to Nadal and then you woke me up! Leave me alone in my fantasy, Ru-an! Hehehe! But you know what? I got sneaking feeling about this. If Roger does incorporate 2 hander, remember, I dreamt about it first!! Btw, your “kaleidoscope of Roger” header is bringing me to dizzying heights (no wonder I am dreaming!). I just adore this present one, Roger in blue, looking up. Please stay with that photo a bit longer, Ru-an!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    As say say great minds think alike. I have tried a few but this one is my favorite, so it will stay for a while. But seriously, no way Roger will change to a 2-handed bh at this stage of his career. Changing racquets was already a big step. Sorry to spoil your fantasy lol. I’m a bit of a sadist :D

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  8. Ru-an, Thank you! Just to open your blog and find a post is enough cheer to get me through another gruelling day!!! Love the shoes as well, Ru-an!! Such a pity that you get more time to blog and Roger is in hibernation!! I’m quite sure though he will appear in Cincy. Love Delpo. He’s my guy after Roger. Love him whacking everybody off the court but has such a gentle giant humble demeanor. I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t like Delpo.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You’re welcome Veronica. I wish all I could do is blog and other things that I enjoy. But unfortunately we can’t do much without money and everything happens for a reason.

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  9. Happy 32nd birthday Roger !!! Hope you and your back recover soon and well and hope you come back roaring again and win it ALL !!!

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