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By Chris Oddo | Saturday August 26, 2017

The ATP Tour is severely hampered as the final major of the 2017 approaches and there have been calls for the ATP Tour to do more to protect the health of its greatest assets—the players—but Roger Federer doesn’t see any particular cause for alarm.

More: Andy Murray Withdraws from U.S. Open Due to Hip Injury

He says the game’s stars are getting older and its par for the course.

“I believe it's just that the guys who are hurt lately, it's mostly because they are 30-plus,” Federer told reporters at the U.S. Open on Saturday during his pre-tournament press conference. “Wear and tear just takes its toll. Maybe some players have just had enough of playing hurt and told just themselves, When I come back I just want to be 100%. Not always playing be at 85, 90, 95%. It's just not fun this way.”

Five of the ATP’s top 11 ranked players are missing at this year’s U.S. Open (Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic), but Federer says it is not all that surprising.

Note: Federer spoke before the news of Andy Murray's withdrawl was announced on Saturday

“Nishikori and Raonic have had some injuries as of late,” he said. “It's always been a bit of come and go with them. So I guess they just really want to figure it out now, and they also both have been hurt, so I hope they will be back strong again. But for the most part I think it's the age more than anything.”

Shortening the season is something that always gets thrown around, and the ATP has limited the length of its season by two weeks in recent years, but it still runs three weeks longer than the WTA season. Currently there is no plan for change, and Federer doesn’t see a great need.

“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,” Federer said, adding: “I don't think the tour is doing much wrong, to be quite honest.”

Federer says that his own physical ailments aren’t troubling him in New York, which should help him in his quest for a record 20th major title over the next two weeks. The Swiss skipped the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to rest his injured back.

He says the injury has responded well to the rest and rehab.


“Two weeks after the [Montreal] finals is a long time, so because you've got two weeks you can take your time,” he said. “So the first week was really just, you know, trying to feel better, get better, get back on the court at some stage. I have been on the practice courts since last week. I have been playing sets the last few days, and I'm really happy how I'm feeling, you know, few days out of the first round here now.”

Federer will open his bid for a sixth U.S. Open title on Tuesday in New York when he faces 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe.

 

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