While it was easy to understand last year (to skip clay), it looks different for me this year. This year he seems to be fit so why he decides to be absent for 3 months?
Paganini a kind of justified this decision telling about difference of stress to knees between hard and clay. Did not look very convincing.
I just watched yesterday an almost 5 hours match in DavisCup (Spain vs. Germany), featuring 36 years old Ferrer and 34 years old Kohlschreiber. A very intense match.
Federer’s knee injury from 2016 was rather minor, surgery very limited and comeback quick. There are lots of players with more serious knee injuries. And there are many clay players without knee injuries. Nadal is a kind of exception and I would assume, his repeating knee problems to have their source not in playing much on clay but in playing on hard, being an extreme clay player. Who is a clay court player and does not go for big wins on hard, has no problems with knees.
Moreover, as we all know, Federer’s knee injury was pure incidence, occurred rather on “hard surface” of the bathroom than on the beach 😉
I don’t take this explanation from Paganini for serious. Must have told something for the world to understand, Fed is still in superb shape, but don’t want risk his knee playing on clay. Ridiculous.
So what’s really going on?
Looking on other oldies, with or without knee problems (take Wawrinka trying to come back from a heavy knee surgery and just preparing for clay after bad experience from playing a bit on hard so far this year), I don’t see anybody skipping clay.
I think, the reason of this decision is different.
Fed has a low since last ATP Finals, even after winning AO and Rotterdam. No more so easy to win tournaments. No more so easy to look for Rafa finals (other “bigxxx” are still down).
I think, Fed is mentally tired or maybe bored and big wins and new records his only motivation to continue. And even this motivation a kind of fading.
Is Fed going his way to exit from active tennis?
They say, there are 3 exits from tennis: after a potentially last big title, after injury or … too late.
But we know, Fed can invent a lot. Maybe just invented another exit. To stay on Tour for some years more, but playing less on Tour and more exhos (Match for Africa, exho matches from others, like Murray, Rod Laver Cup)?
Still I have the feeling, Fed will make a last minute big surprise and comes to play Paris this year.
Meanwhile he can see, tennis is not going dead even without him. It’s going on. New names coming. Full crowds while he is not there. Only single sad FedFans on the Miami final, but full house.
Here and there some hints. He wants to have Olympia Gold, but in Tokyo he will be 39. Saving health and fitness just for Tokyo to be the last missing big title and than say Stop?
On the other hand 😉
Can you spend the whole live with such hands?
What we perceive watching matches are beautiful movement and shots, muscular body, attractive outfit, nice face and haircut, happy smile.
How their hands and feet look like, we can see only during medical timeouts.
Really very hard job.
I( can see sometimes hands of hard manually working people: farmers, fellers. But compared to tennis players, their hands look aristocratic like.
So, even if you are King Roger, you would like (and your wife and children) your hands to have a “normal” look 🙂
Updated 10.04.2018, 10:36
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