• Federer suspects rivals are playing it safe on injuries

    11/3/11 12:27 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Federer suspects rivals are playing it safe on injuries The run of injuries at the Swiss Indoors, with Andy Murray joining Mardy Fish and Janko Tipsarevic on the sidelines, is not a mystery to Roger Federer, who believes that at least some of the pullouts are precautionary in nature.

    Fish pulled a hamstring after 11 minutes on court with good friend James Blake and withdrew.

    A day later, Serb Tipsarevic and wildcard Murray both pulled the plug within a few hours of each other. Year-end final contender Tipsarevic quit a match with hamstring problems while Murray never took to the court after he said he injured a nerve in his back while sleeping.

    Federer, one of the most consistently healthy player on the ATP, suspects that his rivals are just playing it safe.

    "But it's near the end of the season and guys maybe don't want to risk before the finals (London from November 20). Maybe if it had been the quarters of Wimbledon he (Murray) might have played, who knows. Guys are smart not to take chances right now though."

    Murray insists that his pain is the real thing and he will need four to five days off. He is traveling to Paris for next week's Masters 1000, hoping to be fit after taking anti-inflammatories. A scan on Fish's problem showed no muscle tear and leaves the 29-year-old with time to get fit before Paris.

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Come come Roger. Some things are best left unsaid.

It's not as though he has never done the same. There is a fine line between being injured but still able to play (maybe taking pain killing injections etc.) and risking making the injury worse and retiring/pulling out to avoid that risk. Some occasions justify that risk.

The innuendos by JL above are unacceptable IMO.
Andy would hardly have travelled with his entourage to Basel unless he intended to play. He stated his reasons for the decision. i.e. he preferred to withdraw in advance and give somebody else a chance rather than being forced to retire during the match.

ed251137 , 11/3/11 2:03 PM

Everyone does this. Roger himself pulled out of Shangai to rest. If it was wimbledon or any other GS he would have played. He played wimbledon in 2010 with a thigh injury.

bleck , 11/3/11 2:11 PM

Roger did not put some right or wrong question on his remarks. He was not giving judgement about the pullouts. Just an observation. But he does not the same he rarely pulls out and he never retires.
He just announces that he skips a certain tournement(s) in order to rest his body. I feel that is the most honest way to handle these kind of events.
To be fait to Murray he was in time for the tournement to appoint an other player to fill the gap. So spectators could watch a ATP tennismatch.

Sienna , 11/3/11 2:32 PM

I don't think Federer was implying that Murray was actually injured, simply that Basel is not the sort of tournament that players will risk their health to play.

Sienna, Roger pulls out of tournaments a lot. What he doesn't do is retire from them. Like...ever.

cherylmurray , 11/3/11 2:43 PM

Well, if Andy is "playing it safe to avoid injury," and it's nothing serious, I, for one, am very, very glad.

deuce , 11/3/11 2:44 PM

"Sienna, Roger pulls out of tournaments a lot. What he doesn't do is retire from them. Like...ever."
Only once Roger retired from a tournament, it was in Paris I believe (in 2008 against Blake he retired before the match). Roger NEVER retired from a match.

Why not take out Paris (France already has RG and Metz and a couple more tournaments) and create a masters 1000 on grass before wimbledon.

bleck , 11/3/11 2:50 PM

Paris is the only indoor Masters event. If we're swapping an event for a grass Masters series tournament, it has to be one of the three American hardcourt events. They're all big though, which makes it hard.

samprallica , 11/3/11 3:02 PM

Cheryl. I was referring to the remark in the article
'Murray insists the pain is the real thing' from which it is hard not to infer that JL is implying he was faking the pain.

When I said 'some things are best left unsaid' I just thought it was slightly unneccesary to add the rider 'if it had been Wimbledon, who knows.'

ed251137 , 11/3/11 3:03 PM

Roger is quite the straight talker, esp when it considers other players and not himself.
I dont think he meant anything by his statements other than what he thought the situation was.
Hopefully he's correct about Murray, it would be a great pity if the momentum of the last few months started to dissipate as a result of injury.

Sosueme , 11/3/11 4:52 PM

Roger doesnt pull out of tournements a lot as you say Cheryl. When he is in the draw he usually sticks around for the matches tp take their toll.
I agree that he is very flexibel in his schedule when he feels that he should not take part in the tournement. Usually he is well in advance for the tounement to give his slot to a WC. Murray was as I said earlier just in time to make his redrawel interferered wioth tournement.

Sienna , 11/3/11 5:58 PM

MC is already not a real masters event.
Just get that one out of the way and let it be played along with barcelona. Then everything can shift and Halle can become 1000 serie.
Asian swing skipped altogether. Move the tourneys backfrom november to the place where the asianswing is. Move Shanghai to januari for master before AU open (skip AO and rest of tour 1 2 weeks. They have excel and they can put on a schedule.
That way all of Rafa's problems are solved and he might get a real year end off to practice his holing technique with X on the G track.

Sienna , 11/3/11 8:58 PM

I agree that Halle would make a great 1000 tournament. However that would have to either shift the Queens event or eliminate it altogether, which would be tricky to say the least.

ts38 , 11/4/11 3:29 AM

Sienna, MC is the most stupid decision the ATP has ever made. MC is not a real masters 1000 and should be downgraded to a 500 tournament like Hamburg was.
Of course the millions from China and Madrid speak higher.

bleck , 11/4/11 10:07 AM

Shanghai cannot be moved to Jan before the AO. It's cold in Shanghai in Jan, not a good way to prepare for the Australian heat. If it is that easy to shift around the tournaments, the ATP would have done so already, no need people here to tell them what to do.

If Halle is made a Masters, I'm sure Queens will be badly affected, the tournament organisers there won't be happy. It's hard to please everyone, unless Queens or Halle fall on different weeks. Halle's centre court has a roof so it's a better place for a Masters compared to Queens, whose schedule is always delayed by rain.

luckystar , 11/4/11 11:05 AM

lucky, ideally it would be good to have 2 grass tournaments b4 Wimbledon but that would mean putting RG earlier on and the weather there is quite often awful. I suppose they could always pull one of the clays. I personally would like it if Halle and Queens didn't clash, not enough grass as it is.
As you say though, it's difficult to shift tournaments around.

deuce , 11/4/11 11:13 AM

Also the ATP faced lawsuits for the MC tournament if I'm not wrong, so the compromise is to let it stay at the Masters level but to make it non mandatory. I think the Hamburg tournament also but they (Hamburg) lost and so it was down graded to a 500 event.

Whether MC is a Masters or not, it's still popular among the players especially those who are good on clay. A difference of 500 ranking points may be a huge difference for lower ranked players but for the top few players, it doesn't make a lot of difference. Also players are free to attend it or skip it, it's their own choice.

luckystar , 11/4/11 11:26 AM

"Also players are free to attend it or skip it, it's their own choice."

Unlike the real masters 1000 which are mandatory.
That's the difference.

It's like there is a different category just for MC which is stupid.

bleck , 11/4/11 1:17 PM

It's between the MC organisers and the ATP, I'm sure MC organisers don't find it stupid. Given a choice they would want it to be mandatory. Also if a player is good on clay, why not attend it, as the points awarded are double those of a normal 500 event. There are only three other 500 clay events but there are eight 500 hard court events, so it's wise for those who are good on clay to attend MC. It's also a 56 players tournament, unlike a 32 players normal 500 event, though the top eight seeds get a first round bye.

luckystar , 11/4/11 2:03 PM

Also, it's not like the mandatory ones are all well attended, just look at Shanghai and Paris. Roddick is also known to skip a clay Masters now and then; Nole skipped the Madrid Masters in 2009, some sickness reason; Fed skipped Shanghai in 2009 &2011; Rafa skipped Paris in 2010&2011; Delpo skipped Cincy in 2009 citing fatigue, etc and etc.

luckystar , 11/4/11 2:10 PM

It was stupid to create a category for just MC. They did it because China must have payed millions to have a masters 1000.

Of course the organisers don't fins it stupid, it's their tournament for crying out loud. If the ATP made the stupid decision of awarding 3000 points in MC the organisers wouldn't find it stupid although it would be.

Money makes the world go round and when we're talking about large amounts of it sometimes this kind of stupid illogical decisions are made.

bleck , 11/4/11 2:19 PM

The tournament director of Monte Carlo has VERY close ties with the head honchos of the ATP. He used to serve on the board of directors. Just sayin'.

cherylmurray , 11/4/11 2:35 PM

Thanks for the info Cheryl. That clears it all. Because under normal circumstances MC should be downgraded to a 500 tournament.

So it wasn't money but rather privileged contacts.

bleck , 11/4/11 2:42 PM

And that's why MC got to retain the Masters status but Hamburg won't. As I've mentioned, the field is 56 players, just like a Masters, unlike a normal 500 event where there are 32 players. If the ATP were to reduce the countable events from 18 to 16, they may reduce the required mandatory Masters from eight to seven, so some Masters may become non mandatory or they simply allow the players to choose any seven Masters to attend! As mentioned, mandatory or non mandatory, players still skip some as and when it's necessary.

luckystar , 11/4/11 3:03 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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