Before the coronavirus pandemic, Roger Federer had groin and lower back ailments develop as he played a tough battle at this year's Australian Open quarters with Tennys Sandgren. The 100th ranked player didn't play as his rank dictated and after losing the opening set, came around to win back-to-back sets tormenting the Swiss top ranker.
It finally fell into Federer's hands as he fought to win two straight sets and then the decider to be victorious at the quarterfinal. "You've got to get lucky sometimes, I tell you that," he laughingly said.
But as luck drifts in, it also can drift out and for Roger Federer who was a bit worn out from the 5-setter he won against Sandgren, he didn't grab the match against Novak Djokovic in the semifinal. Problem was the Swiss didn't come in with all of his skills blazing to strategy-wise hurt Djokovic.
He was ailing and gave it a good try at the beginning set. The Serb was feeling down at the opener and seen how Federer's motion appeared hindered. "When I was on the court at the beginning, I was really paying too much attention to his movements...I wasn't in the right balance...I wasn't executing the right shots...it resulted in a 4-1 deficit at love-40.
I was just fortunate to serve well..." Federer's semifinal with Djokovic didn't go the way he'd like. "I was playing with nothing to lose, obviously. I tried to take big cuts at the ball...make sure I keep him off guard and mix it up as much as I can.
I think I returned very well in the beginning...unfortunately I wasn't able to serve it out." It was at the press conference session that the Swiss looked rather dejected. "I feel like I should have found a way to do that..."
It was plain that his resources were not at liberties to perform. The tour soon took a desperate shift as the coronavirus outbreak cause the tennis organizers of Indian Wells to cancel the tournament. It was soon the Miami Open to be cancelled along with other master events.
The crushing blow was the French Open that was postponed from May to September 20-October 4th. This would be a week after the U.S. Open and coincided with The Laver Cup, founded partly by Roger Federer. Previously Federer had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery and his focus was on healing and ready himself to be on tour.
Instead he suddenly was embroiled in the conflict of possibly changing dates of his prestigious event and what that would mean to the players who normally participate. The Swiss needed time to not only heal but to contemplate what tour would next be cancelled or postponed and if he could play in it at all.
Some players are in limbo from injuries, ailments and surgeries, while others are concentrating on staying fit and many on how will they get the funds to fly to a designated tournament since having played in months. The grass season soon will be here and the organizers of Wimbledon may just bow out also as to not cause confusion and interference if the virus situation still hasn't ceased.
Presently Federer wasn't concerned about winning titles but straightening out his tour schedule. There are decisions to be made and thoughts on his ability to perform at top notch levels that may be compromised if the tour doesn't resume soon.
"You never know what the future holds especially at my age...I'm confident," he'd say, knowing full well that there aren't may titles that could still be on his racket, not with his age and thestiff competition on tour.
"I'm happy how I'm feeling to be honest," Federer confessed. Most players are at a lost as to what to do with the time they have while waiting for things to start up again. But for Roger Federer, he'll have to go along with the program too and see if all the time he had to recuperate breeds victories for him or would it contribute to him taking a while to get back to his winning style again.