Federer fans, take note: Roger is not injured. Federer fans, explain: then why isn’t he playing Davis Cup? This is all so confusing. . .
Pierre Paganini, Roger Federer’s Swiss fitness coach, did an interview last weekend with Swiss newspaper Blick, answering questions regarding Federer’s recent back injury that caused him to pull out from the Dubai tournament and Davis Cup. Paganini is in Dubai with Fed right now, along with two sparring partners, for two weeks of training. What I find fascinating about this article is Paganini’s claims that much of Federer’s (non)injury is stressed induced. (I underlined here and there for emphasis)
– Mr. Paganini, what’s going on with Federer? What is he doing?
Paganini: At the moment we give him some time to recover. We intensified the work with his physio therapist. But to make it clear once and for all: Federer is not injured. What we are doing is pure prophylaxis. We are working for the next two weeks in Dubai. Roger also flew in two sparring partners to be able two work on the court.
–Was Federer a 100% fit in Melbourne?
Paganini: Well we have to go further back for this. Roger got injured last November. His injury is cured. Everything was ok in Melbourne. But with so many matches it is not easy to recover 100%. He wasn’t impeded in his game. But it meant a lot of stress, the journey, the pressure, etc., so the body’s reaction in a stressful situation and during a normal training is not the same. He felt it, and that’s why we have decided to take a break in order to prevent other injuries from occurring.
–What did you learn from it? Do you have to change something?
Paganini: Well we understood that we have to spend even more time doing physical preparation. This is the priority between the tournaments. Roger wants to pay attention to his body in order to be able to manage those stressful situations.
– Does that mean that he is going to play fewer tournaments?
Paganini: No, it simply means to plan in a different way, manage the time differently. We have to organize ourselves even better in order to be able to do a proper physical education wherever Roger is.
– Roger is not going to play the Davis Cup. As a Swiss man it must hurt you, but as a fitness coach you must think that it is right.
Paganini: As a fitness coach I always should be against it whenever it concerns the body. You have to recognize that if he would be playing Davis Cup he’d be playing as the team leader. He’d play Friday, Saturday and Sunday non stop. That’s just a lot for your body. Roger is like a jewel. And he knows that it would just be too risky.
Ah, Roger is like a jewel! That’s a good one, Pierre – I’m gonna keep that in mind for further posts. Love the Fedophile speak!
Here’s hoping our man Mr. Federer’s (non)injury clears up soon. I’d love to see him win a Masters (can I still call them that?) this year at either Indian Wells or Miami. Perhaps that’s his goal, too?
Photo: Jon Hargest