Roger Federer Withdraws from Doha Semis, Citing Bad Back

AndersCorrespondent IIIJanuary 6, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball during the men's final singles match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on November 27, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

It was tweeted yesterday by Swiss journalist and Roger Federer biographer Renee Stauffer that Federer has a bad back, an injury he sustained in his second-round match in Doha. 

Now it's official that he has withdrawn from the tournament he won last year prior to his semifinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

It's only the second time in his career that the Swiss legend has withdrawn mid-tournament, and he's yet to withdraw during a match. Clearly, the decision has not been easy for him. 

The risk is that he loses the momentum he had with his 20-match winning streak going back to Basel last year. 

The upshot is that Federer hopes to be back at 100 percent in the middle of next week. Said Federer: 

“I have a long journey in front of me going to Australia, but I hope maybe midweek next week I should be 100 percent again, but that's just guessing right now. We'll see how it goes.”

On the injury, he said: 

“I hurt my back in my second-round match against Zemlja and just got a little bit better for the match against Seppi. I don't feel a whole lot of improvement for today, and I just don't think it's the right time to risk anything more right now. I still have pain, and that's why it was the only right decision, a difficult one for me.”

Federer certainly took the right decision. There's no good reason to risk further injury in Doha just 10 days before the Australian Open. Here's hoping to a speedy recovery prior to Melbourne.