Thiem could continue to be a real problem for Federer

Roger Federer is not having the time of his life these days: He’s battled numerous injuries and had to miss several tournaments on the ATP World Tour this year. And now — after the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart — he’s lost the past two major tournaments he has been able to play in to 22-year-old Dominic Thiem.

Federer is still ranked high, at No. 3 in the world. But the the 34-year-old seems to be in danger of slipping, because he’s having a hard time staying healthy. He had surgery on his left knee in February after tearing his meniscus while preparing a bath for his twin daughters (bizarre, but true — he said he shifted his weight and felt something click in his left knee). The injury came on the heels of his loss to No. 1-ranked Djokovic in the semifinals of the Australian Open.

The surgery was the first of Federer’s career, but it’s not the only thing that’s been holding him back this season — his back has also posed problems. It flared up before the Madrid Open in May, causing him to withdraw.

But the most newsworthy tournament Federer has missed this year was the French Open, the first Grand Slam he’s had to sit out since 1999. He didn’t…

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