Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Roger Federer has form and injury concerns.
Roger Federer has form and injury concerns.

Problems are forming into a genuine crisis for Roger Federer

A combination of poor form, less effective groundstrokes and back problems means Roger Federer's game is going through a genuine crisis.

It is never a nice thing to kick a man when he is down, but it is hard not to when the game of Roger Federer is falling apart before the public's eyes as fast as it is.

My colleague, Ahmed Rizvi, wrote on the Swiss player's apparent decline last week after his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon last month, but things took a bigger turn a few hours later when he meekly exited the Swiss Open, a competition he had entered as a confidence builder, after losing to the world No 53 Daniel Brands in straight sets.

Without over-dramatising things, this now represents a genuine crisis for Federer.

An initial experiment with a larger racket head clearly did not have the desired effect, but it is not just the groundstrokes that are letting down Federer, 31, at the moment.

He admitted after the defeat in Gstaad that he is suffering from back problems, casting his short-term future in doubt. Federer's fitness record has been phenomenal, with the 1999 US Open being the last time that his name was not on a grand slam draw sheet.

The severity of his back injury is unclear at this stage, but the fact that the tight-lipped Federer publicly acknowledged it means it is a genuine concern, and doubts have surfaced that he will play in the Rogers Cup in Montreal next week.

At this stage, there is no reason not to expect him to play at Flushing Meadows in New York next month, but horrible form and his fitness worries means fans can almost certainly rule out a sixth US Open title coming his way.

gcaygill@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 JP Duminy played a cameo knock of 52 not out from 35 balls to tip the game in Delhi Daredevils' favour. Pawan Singh / The National

Kolkata Knight Riders lose way as Duminy sizzles for Delhi Daredevils

JP Duminy keeps his head as cameo at the death helps swing it in Delhi's favour in Dubai after captain Karthik plays the anchor role.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 The mother removes the noose with the help of her husband from around the neck of Balal.

In pictures: Mother forgives her son’s killer as he awaited his execution

An Iranian mother spared the life of her son’s convicted murderer with an emotional slap in the face as he awaited execution with the noose around his neck.

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National