Roger Federer has revealed that a back and neck issue was the reason behind his fifth-set slump to Grigor Dimitrov in the US Open quarter-finals.
Federer led the match 2-1 in sets, but asked for a medical time-out after losing the fourth.
When he returned to court, he was noticeably more laboured in his movements, particularly on serve.
Dimitrov took full advantage by comfortably taking the final set and the place in the semi-finals, leaving Federer to explain his injury to reporters after the match.
“Well, I just needed some treatment on my upper – what is it – back, neck,” Federer said.
“[I] just needed to try to loosen it up, crack it and see if it was going to be better.
“But this is Grigor’s moment and not my body’s moment, so it’s okay.”
Federer spoke of feeling in great shape before the competition started, but it seems the issue flared up shortly before his match against Dimitrov started.
“[I] had a little bit [of pain] this afternoon,” he admitted.
“I was able to play. It’s okay. It’s how it goes. I tried my best. By far not too bad to give up or anything.
“Grigor was able to put me away. I fought with what I had. That’s it. So it’s okay.”
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