Let's hope he really figured the problem with his back
Seeded No. 30 at Roland Garros, Pospisil was ineffectual in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 loss to the Russian. Gabashvili, 29, is playing the best tennis of his career but it was mostly a matter of one-way traffic with Pospisil looking uninspired and lethargic throughout the match.
One of the only positive moments was when he pulled off the above successful drop shot in the third set.
I spoke to Vasek briefly last Friday and he said that he had finally found out what the problem was with his back – an issue that first arose in the first week of the year when he had to retire in the semifinals of the Chennai, India, tournament against Stan Wawrinka.
He didn’t want to reveal exactly what the problem was but said he was taking some medication and seemed confident that he was definitely on the mend.
In probably the first match that he played as his “normal self” since withdrawing from the Australian Open third round in January, Pospisil lost 7-5, 7-6(4) to No. 20-ranked Kevin Anderson in Rome two weeks ago.
In his post-match media conference Monday, it became clear right from the outset that Vasek did not want to say what was going on with him during the match. But he was bitterly disappointed with his effort.
Here are some snippets of what he said.
“Against Anderson, I played a normal match – one of the very few. It was also one of the ones where I was able to fully able to focus on competition, which hasn’t been the case lately.”
Asked directly about the back, he replied, “I’d rather not talk about the back, to be honest, but let’s just say that Rome was the first time where I played pain-free and that was really good.
“It’s much better now, but there’s still some demons I have to face obviously.
“It’s a combination of a lot of things. But I didn’t recognize myself on the court today. That’s the disappointing part.
He said he didn’t want to say much about how he might be able to turn things around. “I’d rather not talk about it actually. I’m going to have to make some phone calls and figure out what to do exactly the next couple of weeks.”
Pospisil added the following about him and coach Frédéric Fontang: “We’ve just been trying to make the best decisions with the information that we’ve had. Obviously, some of them, you don’t know how you’re going to feel or the future or anything. We really found out what was happening (with the back) just a couple of weeks ago and so we kind of know how to manage it.”
He said he will play in the doubles event at Roland Garros and was insistent that he will also play Wimbledon.
Pospsil is one of the most likeable and popular Canadian players, and it was tough to see him so obviously flummoxed by what is happening to him.
To finish on a positive note, asked if what is going on is fixable – he replied with a clear “yes.”