Federer expects to be fit after back injury

Roger Federer expects to be completely healthy on Wednesday when he takes on Mikhail Youzhny for a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals. The Swiss battled through a sore back to win his fourth-round match against Xavier Malisse on Monday.

“I felt the back going the beginning of the first set, and then I played on it maybe three, four games,” said Federer. “I asked for the trainer, the doctor to come out to just talk about it. So I decided to have treatment inside.”

“Honestly, I'm not too worried. I've had bad backs over the years. I've been around. They go as quick as they came. But of course I have to keep an eye on it now. I have one and a half days, which is a lot of time, to be quite honest, to work with. Two good nights' sleeps and I'll be 100 per cent on Wednesday. I'm pretty convinced, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to pull out the match the way I did today.”

In trying to determine why it flared up, Federer said, “I guess it must be a mix of maybe from the five setter and the two days off and the cold wind today. So I guess it was unlucky in this regard. Fortunately I pulled out the match the way I did today.”

A six-time champion at the All England Club, Federer should be confident in his match-up with Youzhny, having swept all 13 of their previous meetings. Like Federer, the Russian is also 30, and Federer believes the success both have had is a testament to their generation.

“My junior year back in '98 was unbelievable. Who I played in almost every match back then made it on tour after that,” said Federer. “I think we had a record in Paris with the number of over 30 year olds in the main draw, which I'm happy to see. I’m happy I'm not the only guy left... I see familiar faces left and right everywhere I go at every tournament.”

Five of Federer’s wins over Youzhny have come on grass. The two met recently in the Halle semi-finals, with Federer prevailing 6-1, 6-4.

“We've played a lot on grass. We know what to expect, both of us,” said Federer. “I think he's a great player. He can take the ball early. He can mix it up well. He's a great fighter. I had an extremely tough match with him last year on Court 1. I expect something similar, so I hope to recover and play a good match against him, and hopefully victory is on my racquet.”

Date: 03.07.2012, Source: ATP


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