Roger Federer has said that he was hampered by a hand injury since the start of the grass-court season but won’t use it as an excuse.
The 37-year-old won his 20th Grand Slam title at the start of the year by clinching a sixth Australian Open title and then missed the clay-court season to focus on being refreshed for a tilt at winning an eighth Wimbledon crown on his favoured surface of grass in the summer.
Federer won the Stuttgart Open and he then reached the Gerry Weber Open final, but things started going awry as he was stunned by Borna Coric in Halle before crashing out of the quarter-finals at Wimbledon against Kevin Anderson.
The Swiss veteran then failed to add any titles in the hard-court season and has subsequently dropped to third in the world rankings.
Federer has now spoken out to admit that a hand problem he suffered earlier in the summer has proven to be more problematic than he anticipated, although insists he is not looking to make excuses.
“I hurt my hand training at the start of the grass season,” he told Germany’s Sonntag Zeitung. “It’s had more consequences than I thought. I dragged this pain for about three months.
“It’s not an excuse and we’re not going to make a fuss over it.”
He added: “(Sometimes) I felt pain during the first ten minutes of a match warm-up. But now I can let go of my forehand normally without thinking of it.”