Federer ready for well-earned break
Originally published on: 27/03/12 12:17
No wonder Roger Federer blamed tiredness for his defeat on Monday night to Andy Roddick in the Masters 1000 event in Miami. The 30-year-old Swiss was playing his 29th match of the year, meaning he has played more matches at this stage of the season than at any time since 2005.
Given that Federer has also appeared in exhibition events in Abu Dhabi and New York and played indoors on clay and both indoors and outdoors on hard courts, it is no surprise that he will now be taking a break. The world No.3 is not expected to play again before the Madrid Masters in the second week of May, which will be his first appearance during the outdoor European clay-court season.
Federer last played as often in the first three months of the year in 2005, when he had completed 33 matches by the time he had added the title in Miami to those he won in Doha, Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells. His only defeat at that stage of the season had been to Marat Safin in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
He enjoyed similar success the following year, playing 29 matches (the same as this year) in winning in Doha, Melbourne, Indian Wells and Miami, his only loss coming in the Dubai final against Rafael Nadal. In 2007, 2008 and 2010 Federer had played only 16 matches by the time he had finished in Miami: in 2007 he suffered early losses to Guillermo Canas in both Indian Wells and Miami, in 2008 his appearances were restricted by glandular fever and in 2010 he did not play between Melbourne and Indian Wells because of a lung infection. In 2009 he played 21 matches by the end of Miami and in 2011 he played 26.
After losing to Roddick Federer admitted that playing so much this year had “taken its toll a bit”. The loss ended a 16-match winning run and was only his third defeat since last year’s US Open.