Despite a back injury keeping him out of the Mutua Madrid Open this week, there is good news for Roger Federer’s fans. The Swiss has shifted his focus to next week’s BNL Internazionali d’Italia and is staying positive despite the injury heading into next week’s Masters 1000 event.
Optimism despite frustration
Federer was late to commit to the Mutua Madrid Open and was equally late to withdraw after tweaking his back in practice the weekend before the tournament. The Swiss has struggled with back injuries in the past, the same injury that derailed his 2013 campaign.
Surprisingly, the fact that Federer has had this injury in the past is giving him reason to feel good. The world number three explained to the press in Madrid that "I mean, I am frustrated. At the same time, I'm still upbeat… I would rather have it being the back rather than the knee... This is normal back things I've had in the past, which I guess is good because I know how to handle it. I know how long it can take. Sometimes it can vary by a few days here and there."
Road to recovery
Federer has been limited to three tournaments this year, with only one coming after the Australian Open. The Swiss suffered a knee injury in Melbourne and had surgery, which forced him to miss six weeks. He was slated to return in Miami, but illness forced him to withdraw. He finally returned to the tour in Monte Carlo, reaching the quarterfinals, before the back injury forced him out of Madrid.
The 17-time major champion initially was not scheduled to play any events between Indian Wells and the French Open, but has subsequently entered all the Masters 1000 events (although he only has played Monte Carlo so far). Federer will be hoping for a good performance in Rome as his final warm up before Roland Garros.