Roger Federer unconcerned by mounting injury toll as Andy Murray withdraws from US Open
British world number two pulls out of grand slam due to hip injury to join Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in skipping Flushing Meadows
Roger Federer does not believe the gruelling professional tennis schedule should be shortened despite a rash of injuries ahead of the US Open.
The 19-time grand slam champion made his comments a few hours before world number two Andy Murray announced he was pulling out of the US Open due to the hip injury that hampered him during his unsuccessful defence of his Wimbledon title in July.
Murray, 30, joins 12-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic, 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Japan’s Kei Nishikori in missing the tournament through injury.
“The guys who are hurt lately, it’s mostly because they are 30-plus,” 36-year-old Federer said.
“I don’t think there needs to be that much addressing because the players, they have the option not to play as much as sometimes they have to or want to.
“I don’t think the tour is doing much wrong, to be quite honest.”
Djokovic, also 30, is suffering from a bad elbow and 32-year-old Wawrinka is dealing with a long-term knee problem.
“It’s a huge opportunity for guys ranked outside of the top 10 because there are less guys to beat, getting to quarters or semis, potentially, depending on your section,” said Federer.
World number three Federer, who has won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2017, said he had recovered from the back complaint that forced him to withdraw from the Cincinnati Masters earlier this month.
“I have been playing sets the last few days and I’m really happy how I’m feeling ... few days out of the first round here now,” he said.
Federer is scheduled to face 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe in the first round of the US Open.