Why have his fans been misled and let down? O.K. so maybe you're disappointed at not being able to watch him this week - tough - players withdraw all the time - get over it. As far as I can see nobody else is particularly interested in Andy's withdrawal from Basel. The majority of his vociferous critics don't even know that tournaments take place outside the Majors but then who needs them when Andy's fans make enough song and dance for everyone else?!
Hi Alis and all,
I could not agree more. Great post.
Look, I'd love to see Andy play this week. I'm not well and watching him wallop Federer in his own backyard would have made me insanely happy, but it wasn't to be. Andy has made a decision to pull out of what is really a relatively minor tournament at this point in the year, given that it falls between two Masters tournaments, one of which preceeds the world tour finals. It seems perfectly clear to me that given how congested this year has been, and how busy the end of the year is, something had to go, and it has to better that it is Basel than Paris, or that Andy risks playing in both and then completely blows out in the WTF.
As I said yesterday, I really don't care who Andy has told, if he has told anyone, or if he has apologised to the tournament. People pull out of tournaments every week, it's not a big deal. From the quotes I've read the tournament seems pretty chilled about Andy's situation, so I can't understand why we aren't.
As for any potential PR disaster, please, do me a favour. No one outside of those of us who watch tennis week in and week out knows there are tournaments going on at the moment. The wider public thinks there are four tournaments a year, the majors. It's as simple as that. All people in Britain know about Andy at the moment is that he won the gold at the Olympics and then he won the US Open, which isn't Wimbledon. I kid you not. They will neither know or care that he pulled out of Basel. Indeed, ask the majority of British where Basel is and they will look blankly at you. Mention that the Basel tournament is an ATP 500 and those blank expressions won't even flicker. In Britain it's either a major or its not.
As an Andy fan I don't feel let down by him, not in the least. I think he has made a mature and wise decision. Go back to after the Olympics, when Andy took himself off to play in two compulsory tournaments, Toronto and Cincy, right off the back of winning that gold medal. Some of us said then that he should have pulled out of one, or maybe both of them, and that he was stupid not to. But Andy played, had to pull out of Toronto, and then went out to Chardy in Cincy, in a match where it was clear to anyone with half a brain that Andy was knackered and had nothing left to give, at least not without risking his chances in the USO. We all know what happened in the USO. My feeling is that maybe Andy learned from what happened after the Olympics. Maybe he learned that he has to be wise about when he plays. Maybe he has learned that he has to listen to what his body is telling him when it needs a rest.
What I suspect is happening here is that some are concerned about Andy's back, because he isn't saying what the problem is. My own feeling is that saying nothing is all right. If Andy felt the need to make some sort of statement about it I would worry. It would suggest something serious is going on. As it is, we don't know what the issue is. We only know what we think it could be. I'm sure some think Andy will be criticised for not stating what the problem is, and I get that. Then again, if he talked about it that would be wrong in some eyes as well. Either way Andy can't win. My own feeling is that saying nothing is better than the mixed signals Rafa's camp is sending out about his problems. As for Andy, it seems to me as if he is merely resting his back in order to be ready for Paris and the WTF. Nothing wrong with that.
As for next year and where Andy might be heading for in the rankings, how about we get this year out of the way before we start stressing over next year? If Andy is going to struggle to reach no.2 next year it suggests he won't do anything in the majors, which I seriously doubt. I would not be surprised at all to see Andy win another major or two next year, even if Rafa comes back. I would also not be surprised to see Andy add to his Masters titles next year. However, we'll see. There are still points to be had and matches to win this year yet.