This is Roger writing at his site. He writes (if he himself writes it, and I do not have doubts he does it at least to some extent). He confirms having physical problems during the AO. From today's newsletter: --------------------------- http://www.rogerfederer.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=47 I was one of the first players to arrive in Doha and I prepared thoroughly for the first challenge in 2005. I felt well, finding an excellent rhythm right from the start. I spent a great time in Doha, treating myself to some quad-biking in the desert and simply enjoying nature’s beauty. And obviously it was thrilling to start the new season with the title at the Qatar Open! Then it was time to return to Down Under. I had just been on one of the longest trips in my career so far, not spending Christmas and New Year at home for the first time. Therefore I was not quite certain if I still had enough energy left to perform well in Kooyong. I decided to make a steady start into the tournament which proved out to be the wrong approach; I had a hard time in the first round. Fortunately I was able to improve considerably, showing great matches against Tim Henman and Andy Roddick. After taking home the title it was clear to me that I was now prepared for the Australian Open. Suddenly the moment was here: After Wimbledon it was up to me to defend another Grand Slam title. It did not look easy as my first round opponent was Fabrice Santoro. He is a very experienced player and I had a rather queasy feeling before the encounter. But, to my surprise, the match turned out to be a great start into the Australian Open. I continued in a solid way and the clear victory against Andre Agassi gave me further confidence for the further rounds. It was only pain in my foot that had been bothering me since the beginning of the tournament that made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I felt well apart from that and looked forward to the semi-final against Marat Safin. The stadium was packed for the night session, promising a great atmosphere. And what a match it turned out to be! Unfortunately the pain in my foot increased constantly, forcing me to evasive movements and eventually leading to strong tension in my back. Despite the handicap I had a matchball which I unfortunately was not able to convert. I fought with all my will and almost managed to turn the tide after finding back into the game in the last set. But Marat showed an excellent performance, deserving to take home the match and eventually the title. It was certainly a tough moment for me. I had been in a similar situation in Melbourne against Tommy Haas in 2002. Furthermore I lost the Davis Cup match against Lleyton Hewitt in 2003 after leading by 2-0 sets and 5:3. All of this did not make it easier for me just then. As my last defeat goes back to the Olympics in Athens I am now confronted with a rather unfamiliar situation. But one thing is certain: I have learnt from this experience. I would like to add that I am pleased with myself because I gave it all I could. I will definitely be back next year and who knows – maybe everything will fit together perfectly well again then. I will now have to show a reaction to this defeat and continue with the drive from Doha and Australia right up to the clay-season.