Tan Roger Federer at 2009 players party. Photo by REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh via Daylife.
After Roger Federer shocked everyone by withdrawing from this week’s Dubai tournament with a lung infection, his fans will be relieved to hear that he’s at least healthy enough to. . .party?
“For me this is a home tournament, so I am disappointed I cannot play here. I’ve been unlucky that I’ve not been too much on court here for the last three years now. But I will be hanging around here. I will come around on Tuesday night for the players’ party.”
I’m guessing no one’s going to be drinking out of his glass. I will be looking forward to the ATP.com video to confirm. (Roger showed up at the party last year, too, despite being sidelined with a back injury – click here.)
Pasty Roger Federer at this weekend’s press conference in Dubai:
Photo via Gulf News
Also good to hear: this infection isn’t nearly as bad as his bout with mono/glandular fever in 2008:
Federer is due for further medical tests in several week to ascertain his condition. The Swiss said that the illness is much more straightforward than his glandular fever incident.
‘I want to get back in shape and get back on court again. Once I’m back I’ll be OK again.’ (Monsters & Critics)
Andy Murray made a big impression in Dubai in 2008, when he beat Roger Federer for only the second time in his career in the second round. Roger reminded the press as recently as this year’s Australian Open that he was coming off of mono at the time. Murray backs Roger up, when asked about his recent withdrawal:
“It’s a disappointment for the tournament obviously,” he said. “But if he’s sick and not feeling well. You know, he had an illness a couple of years ago and kind of played through it, which didn’t help him that much. You don’t want to let those sort of things drag on. I’m sure he made the right decision for himself.” (via The Guardian)
And for the 5% of us who actually give a crap about Tiger Woods – if only because Roger’s part of that 5%:
“Tiger is a good friend of mine,” said Federer. “What’s happened to him has been hard to watch over the last three months right down to when he made his apology. I am sure he’s headed in a better direction now. The worst has passed.
“I hope that he can also work things out with his wife Elin because they are very nice people — obviously for the sake of their kids as well.
“I have supported him, but I haven’t had any contact with him. He has been where he knows he has been (in therapy) but my support does not change. I wish him the best.” (via Gulf News)
Fed adds that while his health may not be so good, “I am fortunate because it seems like my image is good at the moment.” Yeah, it’s always nice when image conforms to reality.
Roger says that he’s “hoping” to play Indian Wells, which starts on March 11, but has been advised by doctors that it could take up to six weeks to recover.
Screw the doctors, what do you think?
Oh, and speaking of Indian Wells, here’s Rafael Nadal via Facebook this weekend:
How quickly the story lines change in tennis! Now can all the guys be healthy at the same time. . .please?