Fans of former world's no.1 Roger Federer were shocked on Tuesday following reports that the Swiss will miss the clay court season due to a back injury - a news that was later confirmed a product of April Fool's Day online trolls.
Despite bowing out to Kei Nishikori 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, in the quarterfinal of the Miami Masters, the 32-year-old Federer is playing his best tennis in two years so far with a championship in the Dubai Invitational and a stint in the semis of the Australian Open.
That's why the report of Federer's back surgery really triggered debates on several social media platforms, most of them seeking the validity of the story.
Fortunately, the surgery thing was just one of those April Fool's Day trolls circulating in the net. And here's an excerpt from Tennis World USA:
"Just when it was looking like former world number one Roger Federer was back to his best he has made a shocking announcement on Tuesday that his back injury has resurfaced and he will have to undergo surgery to get rid of the problem permanently. The only positive thing we can get out of this is that it will be a minor surgery and Federer would be able to get back to court at the start of grass season.
Federer broke this really bad news by posting it on his official website. The Swiss star wrote, "I am extremely disappointed to announce that I will be missing entire clay court season as I have to undergo back surgery. I felt severe pain in my back during a practice session yesterday and doctors advised me to have surgery in order to get a permanent solution for this problem," Tennis World USA.
For die-hard Federer fans, please calm down. The Maestro is all good and ready to hit the court for more clay court glory. Still, his performance at the Miami Masters was way below everyone expected from him after reaching the finals of his last two tournaments.
Rafael Nadal is expected to assert his dominance on the red dirt once again, while Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will try to put pressure on the Mallorcan Bull. In short, Federer needs to play at a high level if he wants to be competitive in the coming weeks leading to the French Open. And yes, the health of his ageing back is very much important - no trolling here.