Injury in the Age of Competition

Roger Federer was forced to withdraw from the Madrid Masters on Monday due to a back injury he suffered over the weekend. This is yet another setback on his schedule, but the former world No. 1 decided it was best for him not to take any chances. With the French Open a looming 3 weeks away, rehab and a focus on getting healthy is his main objective. “I would rather play it safe,” he said, “I am very disappointed, to say the least.” That disappointment comes as no surprise, as the star has missed a handful of events in the past few months due to various injuries. Federer’s withdrawal shines light on an important conversation, the question of whether it is more important to add points to your ranking or to take care of yourself and your body. Although it might be disappointing for Fed to pull out of an event he enjoys, doing so won’t do much damage to his rank. It is the players who have more to lose that are the ones we need to worry about. Playing would do nothing but strain his injuries and put him at a higher risk for doing something even more harmful. In a world where athletes are becoming increasingly more motivated to reach top rankings – motivated by sponsors, fans and promotions – at what point is enough, enough?

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