Though he’s had various pains and problems over the years, Roger Federer has played in every Grand Slam this century. With his recent health problems, Federer opened the door on Thursday that his all-time record streak of 65 straight majors may be in jeopardy.
Following a first-round bye and a second win over Sascha Zverev, Federer’s self-professed “information tournament” in Rome came to end with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 loss to Dominic Thiem.
Just his second tournament and fifth match since knee surgery for a torn meniscus following the Australian Open, Federer’s comeback was delayed in Miami due to illness, and then, following a quarterfinal showing in Monte-Carlo, came a withdrawal from Madrid due to back pain, which has persisted, limiting his on-court movement.
One of Federer’s two main coaches, former player Ivan Ljubicic, said that the back pain (which is a reoccurring condition) was caused by compensating for the surgically repaired knee.
Emphasizing that his results in Rome were irrelevant, with only his physical condition carrying any weight going forward, Federer said in press that, “I’m still confident I will be fine somehow,” but that “as of now, clearly the way I’m playing right now is never going to be good enough for any good run in Paris, and then I also wouldn’t play this way…It really depends now on the next, I think, seven to nine days how I can really play in Paris.”
He is locked into the third seed for Roland Garros if he plays, meaning he’ll either be on Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray’s side of the draw.
His entire press conference can be read here.