Basel - Roger Federer has revealed that he has been
suffering with a hand injury since the summer, but said the problem is no
longer a worry as he heads into his home Swiss Open starting on Monday.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner told Germany's Sonntag Zeitung
of the problem which began when he trained for the grass-court season.
"I hurt my hand training at the start of the grass
season," Federer told the newspaper. "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
He added: "(Sometimes) I felt pain during the first ten
minutes of a match warmup. But now I can let go of my forehand normally without
thinking of it."
The 37-year-old Federer will start his bid for a ninth Basel
title on Tuesday when he plays Serbia's Filip Krajinovic and could face a
revenge match in the second round if he and John Millman both advance.
The 33rd-ranked Australian shocked Federer in the US Open
fourth round in September.
The Swiss, who will be playing only his second ATP
tournament since the US Open, has a huge reputation to live up to at home,
having won the trophy in three of the last four editions.
The defending champion, ranked third in the world, takes the
top seeding with German Alexander Zverev seeded second after losing in the
first round in his only previous appearance here four years ago.
Marin Cilic, the Basel winner in 2016, takes the third spot
and starts against Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov while Zverev plays Robin
Haase in the opening round.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, who on Sunday became the first Greek
winner of an ATP tournament when he triumphed in Stockholm, makes his Basel
main draw debut as fourth seed and faces off against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.