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Federer rubbishes claims he is finished

ESPN staff
July 30, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Roger Federer added two tournaments to his schedule to try out a new racket, but may have hurt his back in the process © AP
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A frustrated Roger Federer may be forced to withdraw from the Rogers Cup to deal with the back spasms that have plagued him in recent weeks, but insists that he is not finished as a force in men's tennis.

The 17-time grand slam champion, who has been experimenting with a new racket following his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon, required painkillers to play the two clay court tournaments he added to his schedule ahead of the US Open.

But after being beaten by a player outside of the world's top 50 for the third tournament in succession, crashing out in the second round of the Swiss Open at the hands of Germany's Daniel Brands, Federer admitted he was enduring his worst season in over a decade - but vowed to battle back.

Federer chasing last shot at glory

Roger Federer is slipping off the pace of the top four © AP
  • Time and tide wait for no man, not even Roger Federer. Chris Wilkinson believed that this might be the season that the 17-time grand slam champion began to struggle to keep pace with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, and so it has proven. Surely now he wants one last run at a slam and the chance to bow out like Pete Sampras did in 2002.
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"I have no problem with criticism, but I expect us to be honest," Federer told 10sballs.com. "This situation is not new for me. In 2009 and 2010 already, people said: 'He's won everything, now it's finished.'

"The more people that made that comment, the more likely that someone will be talking nonsense."

Since Wimbledon Federer has slipped to No. 5 in the ATP Tour world rankings, his lowest in a decade, but the 31-year-old insists he has no plans to call it a day just yet.

"If I got to the point where I'd had enough of the travel and training then I would ask serious questions," he added." But that's not the case now.

"There comes a time when the ranking is not so important. Quite honestly, I don't even know exactly what my current ranking. 4th? 5th? 3rd? It doesn't matter to me so much."

Of greater concern will be the back injury that threatens his US Open preparations, with the Swiss still unsure whether or not he will be fit for next week's Rogers Cup in Montreal.

"I've had serious problems with the back, I had to get some anti-inflammatories last week in Hamburg due to the pain," he said. "I will have to do a lot of exercises and see how it all feels.

"My main priority now is to fix my back. I would love to be able to train at 100 percent. I'll have to see if the rehab is enough to let me play in Montreal. If it is, I'll go; if not, then it gives me another week."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
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