Federer unable to play ATP Final due to bad back

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Federer looks beyond London to Davis Cup final.

LONDON – Roger Federer pulled through an historic event when he fought off fourth matches and overcame his friend, Stan Wawrinka, 4‑6, 7‑5, 7‑6 in the semis on ATP World Tour Finals Saturday. But by the time he woke up, he was way too sore and, although he tried, he couldn’t loosen it up and give it a go. The Swiss couldn’t walk on the court against Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday and compete. The world No. 1 Djokovic walks away with another title. Once again, he advances himself as a legend of the fall season.

Federer did not want to risk it because next week the Swiss will face France away in the Davis Cup final. Perhaps he would have played in London on Sunday. But given that Djokovic had played excellent this week, he would have had at least being able to compete say at 80 percent. Against the Serbian who was ready to rumble, he didn’t have much of a chance.

But No. 2 Federer wanted a real chance, as the 33-year-old does is still aiming to reach No. 1 someday for the last time. But, today, he decided not risk it.

“I am sorry to announce that I cannot play the finals tonight vs. Novak,” Federer said on his Facebook page. “I hurt my back late in the match yesterday against Stan.”

He later said, “I try all year to be ready for the ATP World Tour Finals, and I didn’t want it to end this way. But I tried everything I could last night, also today, painkillers, treatment, rest and so forth, warm-up till the very end. But just I can’t compete at this level with Novak. It would be too risky at my age to do this right now and I hope you understand.”

Federer may not say it, but the Davis Cup final in gigantic for him. The Swiss have never won the Davis Cup, and given knowing exactly what will occur during the entire season, that is very difficult to predicut who is healthy and who is hurt. If you are healthy and decided all year long to make Davis Cup a priority, then reaching the final is an important goal. This time around, the Swiss finally did.

However, no one really knows whether Federer will be able to play at all. But what we do know is that he will try to get healthy by Friday in Lille and hope that he can stand up, run around and out-think the assumed foe of Gael Monfils on clay.

France’s Monfils runs like the wind, but he is 2-8 against Federer and the Swiss has taken him down three times at Roland Garros. While Monfils pushed Federer to a fifth set in the US Open quarters – which the Swiss won – with Federer physically hurt, you may has well throw out the window.

Federer might be able to play for three hours and win, but he it is highly unlikely to play in Saturday for doubles. Perhaps he will be OK with a day’s rest and compete on Sunday, assuming that he or Wawrinka (who will face Jo Tsonga on Friday) or Swiss to have won at least a tie going into the final. Who knows, Federer could win two matches in Lille and celebrate one of the last pieces to his incredible resume. Or hurt his back hurt again and pulled out. If Federer can’t play next weekend, you may as well give the trophy to France.

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