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Roger Federer addresses fitness, rumours of withdrawal at Wimbledon press conference

The Swiss former No. 1 has struggled with injury and form this year.

Roger Federer Wimbledon 2016
Federer has won the title at Wimbledon seven times – a record shared with Pete Sampras

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer addressed talk that he was supposedly set to withdraw from Wimbledon.

 The Swiss sparked speculation earlier today as he had been due to attend a practice session with World No. 6 Kei Nishikori, who is seeded 6th at the tournament this year, but did not attend. Retired American ace and former French Open winner Michael Chang, who coaches Nishikori, was seen hitting with him.

The two had been booked for practice on Court 12 at the All-England Tennis Club.

Federer was also absent from the press event immediately after the session, which led many to believe that he was set to announce his withdrawal from the tournament. 

The Swiss Maestro, with 17 Grand Slams, has the highest number of Slam titles of any player in tennis history, and is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time. Although he has won Grand Slams on every surface, Federer is most adept on grass, but has suffered injuries and early losses this year.

Most recently, the Swiss lost out at the semi-finals of the grass court Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, upset by German teenager Alexander Zverev. 

Federer was a finalist at Wimbledon last year and in 2014, losing on both occasions to Novak Djokovic. His seven Wimbledon titles are the all-time highest number at the venue, a record he shares with American former No. 1 Pete Sampras. 

Federer held his official pre-Wimbledon press conference earlier today.

Federer’s press conference

In his press conference at Wimbledon today, Federer addressed his back injuries, saying “this back has won me 88 titles...I’m okay with this back.”

"It's OK if it messes around with me sometimes.

"It's frustrating because it shakes the whole mechanics of the body, what you can work on. Yeah, maybe if it hits you in bad times, it's not funny. I think particularly difficult has just been looking ahead of what was to come: Paris, Wimbledon, Olympics, US Open."

Following Federer’s retirement from the French Open last month, rumours of him doing the same at Wimbledon had picked up steam, but the Swiss has said he is “fine” for now.

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