Having been out of the world of professional tennis for over two years, undergoing a laundry list of surgeries, and celebrating his 40th birthday, many believed that we had already seen Roger Federer of the sport play for the last time. Fortunately, we haven’t. With news coming from his agent – and being confirmed by the man himself – you can expect the tennis legend to make a return to the court later this year for the Laver Cup to represent Team Europe alongside Rafael Nadal, who just made headlines by winning his 14th French Open title and 22nd Grand Slam.
And Nadal is backing his rival’s return, hard. As per Express, Federer’s long-time friend has this week stated that King Roger will be doing “something special” when he makes his 2022 return, pending successful knee surgery. We’ve already known since February that Federer’s primary goal right now is to be in fine form for a return at the Laver Cup in September, before embarking on his first tour event at the Swiss Indoors Basel.
The relationship between the two titans also seems to be as a strong as ever, with 36-year-old Nadal, who is now the oldest oldest title winner in the history of the French Open (the oldest champion in tournament history had been Andres Gimeno, who was 34 when he won in 1972), telling press that Federer celebrated the recent victory.
“With Roger, we have a good relationship and a special feeling,” Nadal told Sky Sports Italy following this week’s groundbreaking win. “After the victory he wrote me a message to congratulate me.”
There was once a time when Roger Federer was almost unanimously considered the greatest men’s tennis player to ever pick up a racquet. The discussion has definitely moved on since then, especially with Rafael Nadal recently bumping his lead of grand slam singles titles to two and Novak Djokovic showing no signs of injury. However, the tennis world just feels empty without the Swiss Maestro.
Federer first sustained a knee injury in February 2020 which required double surgery. He attempted a comeback in 2021, playing in Doha and Dubai before attempting to play at Roland Garros, and would end up withdrawing from the French Open mid-tournament as he set his sights on Wimbledon, where he would ultimately lose in disappointing fashion in the quarter-finals to Hurbert Hurkacz. That was the last we saw of him, as Federer would then undergo a third operation on his knee afterwards.
You don’t get to be where Federer is without a lot of determination. He has been consistently improving his fitness, as agent Tony Godsick told the London Evening Standard:
“He’s exactly where he wants to be but unfortunately it takes time,” Godsick said. “He’s going to play Laver Cup and Swiss Indoors.”
“I don’t want to be the doctor but what I hope for him is to able to have a great rehab this summer, play some in the fall and give a nice shot at 2023, and then see what happens. I haven’t talked to him about that.”
Assuming all goes well with Federer’s rehab events, Godsick thinks he’ll be able to make his triumphant return at the Laver Cup, given there is more than enough time between now and then before the competition kicks off later this year.
“He won’t rush back this time. He will have to be 100% and know he’s 100% and that’s why he’s taking his time doing heavy rehab and training.
Federer has himself also stated that he would like to return to Wimbledon at least one more time in 2023, as that particular tournament holds great significance within his career.
Until then, we should get to watch him and Rafa team up for the European side of the Laver Cup in late September. If you have somehow forgotten how good this pair can play when they’re representing the same side, you can check out the highlights from when they first teamed up as doubles partners back in 2017.