Laver CupRoger Federer

Federer Reveals Laver Cup and Training Update

As Federer confirms his spot in the 2022 Laver Cup, he also lifts the lid on his training and physical condition.

Roger Federer has revealed some of his match plans for 2022, including updates on his current condition and training.

The official Laver Cup website broke the news that Federer was due to play in the fifth edition of the tournament held at the O2 Arena from 23 – 25 September.

The Laver Cup draw will also include a doubles pairing with Rafael Nadal – something not seen since its inception in 2017.

As Federer stated – “I’m really looking forward to getting back into competition later this year, and Laver Cup is very much part of my plan. It’s no secret that I love the event, and I’m super excited to be returning to the O2 and London, one of the greatest cities in the world.”

He missed active participation in the 2021 Boston event due to injury and rehab, though he made a guest appearance on crutches. Nadal messaged Federer after the tournament, suggesting pairing up once again. On Twitter, Nadal has teased the upcoming teamwork with Federer:

nadal tweet

The 2017 ‘Fedal’ match was an instant success and produced outstanding exhibition tennis for spectators and fans worldwide.

Speaking at the Credit Suisse 2022 Latin America Investment Conference via video, Federer spoke about the short-term, with his current progress in recovery and training. When asked about a return to competitive tennis, he responded:

I have very interesting and important […] months ahead of me. I feel like I will know a whole lot more coming April, you know, where my body’s going to be like. Until now I wasn’t really allowed to run yet, and do the heavy workload with jumps and stop-and-gos.

So, I hope that’s all going to start in a couple of weeks, and then we’ll see how the body will react to that. That’s obviously what I will need to return to the tennis court, so I think this question is better answered maybe by April, May. But for now, of course, the drive is there. I’m really motivated to do my work, what I’m allowed to do. I did it all again this morning – I’m back in the gym again tomorrow, and I’m working as hard as I’m allowed to.

So, it’s still good times even though it is a little bit slow because I would love to do way more. But the doctors and everybody is holding me back a little bit. Federer on his rehab

When Federer made his 2021 return in Doha, some fans, including myself, were hopeful for a comeback like 2017, where the Swiss maestro would go on a run of tournament successes, or at least high-performance matches. Perhaps he would be able to mop up a clutch of decent victories, with some Federesque moments of talent thrown in for good measure.

Now with setbacks after the French Open and Wimbledon, it is clear that his team has adopted a more cautious and gentle approach when it comes to pushing his body. Sustainable recovery is prioritised above swift and immediate results right back on the ATP tour. But with the Laver Cup still far away in September, this gives fans some hope that this year will see Federer return to his competitive edge.

Zverev into Montpellier Final, Faces Bublik

Alexander Zverev demolished opponent Mikael Ymer 6-1, 6-3 to reach the Open Sud de France final in Montpellier.

On Sunday, he is due to face Alexander Bublik, who won his semi-final match against Filip Krajinović, 6-4, 6-2.

The contest is set to be an intriguing one, with both players having very different styles. Zverev has enjoyed success in Montpellier from a deep court position, consistency behind the baseline, and gradually building up the pace on his groundstrokes. His steady two-handed backhand has been a go-to shot for winners after Zverev has carefully built dominance in the rally.

Bublik, on the other hand, has a penchant for outrageous gets, aggressive net play and trick shots (including underarm serves). He is not afraid to go for winners, even if it is a risky or unreliable play in the rally.

This will be a contest between the modern percentage-based tennis of Zverev and the pleasingly outlandish approach of Bublik.

With the Rusian born Kazakh winning their only encounter at the 2021 Rotterdam Open, Zverev will have to find some way of dealing with his opponent’s unorthodox tactics while retaining the consistency that propelled him to the final.

What do you think will happen to Federer this year? Will he make a return to the Laver Cup in September, and what are his prospects in future grand slams?

And can Zverev shake off the early Australian Open defeat and win his first tournament of 2022? Leave your comments below.

Alex Nulliah

My name is Alex Nulliah and I am a tennis writer from Bath. I enjoy writing about tennis, International Relations and anything else which takes my interest. At Exeter University I took a BA in History and an MA in Applied Security Strategy. I love playing tennis.

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48 Comments

      1. You don’t call Zverev Russian because his parents are born in Russia. Parents of both are likely to be born in USSR, so the relation between place of birth and the ethnicity is unclear. Djokovic and his parents were all born in Yugoslavia. The best is to use the current citizenship. Who is Bedene?
        If I can read faces, Bublik’s are rather ethnically Kazakhs.
        For this article Bublik should be called Kazakh.

      2. Huh?

        You just said Zverev is more Russian than Bublik because his parents are born in Russia.

        So I asked where Bublik’s parents were born? Given Bublik was also born in Russia and represented them until 2016.

      3. And I would assume, it was rather the act of coming back to his roots, not that he would have better training possibilities in Kazakhstan than in Russia.

      4. Zverev’s parents are ethnic Russians, no matter where they were born. It’s hard to find such information about Bublik’s parents.
        USSR has made a big mix to create “homo sovieticus”, but everyone has some ethnicity.
        But my idea was to let the author change the “nationality”, given he has Kazakh citizenship and represents Kazachstan. And it’s usual convention.

      5. I know. I wasn’t disagreeing about updating it, that’s who he represents which is why I changed it.

        Just asking where his parents were born.

        There are many who have done it, Yulia Putintseva, Yaroslava Shvedova, Mikhail Kukushkin, Andrey Golubev, Elena Rybakina, Aleksandr Nedovyesov, Dmitry Popko. All Russian born and switched to Kazakhstan.

      6. Why don’t you call Djokovic Yugoslav born Serb? What’s the meaning of birth place in tennis context? Did you call Bedene Slovenian born Brit?
        Given Bublik’s father is Stanislav, which is a very popular given name in Poland (lot more than in other Slavic nations) and in times Poland was divided among and reigned by Russia, Prussia and Austria, Poles mere massively deported from Russian partition just to Kazachstan, there is a chance, Bublic has some Polish roots. But the mattr is very simple in terms of tennis – Bublik is Kazakh, Djokovic i Serb, Bedene is (now) Slovene and what’s the idea to add the birth place?
        If someone was born on a plane, would you add “plane born XXX)? You just don’t want to admit, it was a mistake to call Bublik Russian.

      7. What are you on about? We all know Bublik represents Kazakhstan which is why I updated it. I was pointing out that it’s not some cardinal sin to call him Russian given he represented them for 3 years and I wondered how he gained the passport. Or how we can claim Zverev is more Russian.

        Now you are going off on your usual ranting and raving about sharing star signs, that his father might have Polish roots.

        I asked if you knew where his parents were born so we could maybe figure out how he gained citizenship (there are several ways, and descent is not required). You didn’t know, which is fine but rather than say that we got 10 comments of nonsense, as usual.

      8. My primary comment was about something I thought to be an editorial mistake. You told (some comments later) “you wasn’t disagreeing”. Hahaha, they call it “Aesopian speech”. Then you wanted to know, where Bubliks parents were born. I have tried to find out. Nope. The rest is about provoking each other to have a nice rant. I have nothing against. In such rants I’m always adding a bit to my English. For free! Good choice, no?

    1. I miss him too. But … don’t be egoistic. Let’s think about him. This or next year or maybe in 5 years he’s going to go to his after-tennis life. Still a lot of life for him. Should he risk for fans’ sake to spend the rest his life on crutches or wheelchair?
      He gave as a lot and we should be thankful but give him a chance to not have the dilemma of living for himself and family or living (and maybe “dying”) for fans.

  1. Thanks Alex!
    As to possible RF-prospect – not easy…we’ll see. But alternatively he might raise the common level of interest in doubles, and I think he has fun there too. Maybe starting at Laver-Cup the old Murli prophesy pairing with Rafa could come true, ongoing …? For sure people would race to their matches!

  2. Never count Federer out! He may still win another slam. But first I would be so happy to see him come back for the Laver Cup. Grateful to see him play anytime, anywhere.

  3. I think Fed will play Laver Cup…singles? But nothing before that. Basil and then…
    Zverev was not himself in that loss at the AO. I assume he will be on a roll again. Djokovic playing RG?

  4. Federer should think twice before stepping on court. Or he risks to follow del Potro.
    Winning a slam? How many matches must be fixed for that? Fairy tale scenarios don’t happen by themselves often. Wishful thinking of fans is not dangerous. Wishful thinking of the player can be.
    Go to Wimbledon (ask organizers to give you a decent opponent), play 1 match not caring about the outcome an say farewell. Then play Fedal in London for fun an say farewell for the last time.

    1. “Go to Wimbledon (ask organizers to give you a decent opponent), play 1 match not caring about the outcome an say farewell. Then play Fedal in London for fun an say farewell for the last time.”

      … Yes, this sounds reasonable. I would add on one or two events.
      1) Perhaps one warm-up grass tournament before Wimbledon
      2) After the Laver Cup, the final goodbye from the Basel Open in October.

      1. Some years ago Bolletieri had an idea to “let” Federer win the Wimbledon and retire in glory. Given what happened after, maybe the best retirement option. At least he would avoid 3 knee surgeries and switch healthy to life after tennis.
        As to your idea, I would not add anything before Wimbledon, because it would happen, he needs to say farewell in Halle. Basel is a good place for farewell in his home country but for the world Wimbledon is of course the best place.

      2. Let’s hold off on the farewells until Roger has more data. Because, quite frankly, I’m not sure I see any benefit to him going out in the first round of Wimbledon – bagel apart, how is that any better than making it to the quarters when far from fully fit? And suggesting that Wimbledon rig the draw for him?

  5. I know the rules say LC players must play singles too but I’m not convinced either will. Doubles makes sense.
    But for Fed it greatly depends what he does beforehand. Delpo’s fanfare comeback is already over and it’s barely started. Think Fed wants more than that….

  6. BTW – Bublik is my zodiacal sibling (Twin), being born one day (and some decades) later than me. I must cheer for him 🙂

    1. And his favorite book is Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Wow! Another reason to cheer for him.
      @Dear Blog Owner – feel free to delete all my nonsense comments (and never allow to call it censorship). But let stay all your nonsense comments. Freedom of choice. Free speech. Private ownership. Hurrah!

      1. You have lost all the sense of humor (if you ever head one – knowingly it’s not very specific to Brits).

      2. Call him “Hamlet loving Kazakh” – this would fit him better than “Russian born Kazakh” and would at least funny (as he is as a person)

  7. Results of my research about Bublik’s bonds with and his citizenship of Kazakhstan. He got the citizenship via naturalization. Naturalization is regulated differently in different countries (for instance France requires – among others – good command of spoken French). But we know that these days in sports naturalization goes instantly if the receiving country is interested.
    We could ask Bublik, why just Kazakhstan? The offer was the best or there were no other offers? Why not Australia, who is a big importer of athletes. Or UK?
    Kazakhstan is principally islamic, so if you have no ethnic bonds in family, could be tough, but look at his bio for residence. His residence is in Russia. So he probably don’t have residence in Kazakhstan or has a formal residence but actually lives in Russia or on Bahamas.
    So the deal could have been for Bublik to represent Kazakhstan as athlete and nothing more.
    Then the naturalization is a deal about money and national “glory”.
    But this all doesn’t change the only thing relevant for an article about tennis. In this case Bublik is Kazakh. Period. If you want to tell his personal (private) story, you must think about his privacy and if you are allowed to do this, you need to get information from him.

    1. He switched to Kazakhstan because their tennis federation offered him support. The Russian federation did not. He said he was invisible to them. So he decided to change.

      I figured it would be naturalisation, simple process if both parties are interested.

      1. Somehow it was not Saudi Arabia. Naturalization in sports is not a process, it’s a deal. Has nothing to do with birthplace or ethnicity or nationality. A bit weird, he has still residence in Russia and 2 Russian coaches.
        But here’s how it goes on professional tennis website “The Kazakhstani, who was competing in his fifth tour-level final …”. Not “The Russian born Kazakh…” If Russian, then with double s. Why Kazakhstani and not Kazakh? Because “Kazakh is used to refer to ethnic Kazakhs, while the term Kazakhstani usually refers to all inhabitants or citizens of Kazakhstan, regardless of ethnicity.” So maybe I was wrong when assuming, he may have some Kazakh roots, but it’s not excluded, only cannot be proven, because nobody is obliged to tell his ethnicity. But you should have used “Kazakhstani” instead of “Russian born Kazakh”. It was not your (or Alex’s) intention to talk about ethnicity, residence or birthplace. But in any case nobody cares about this feature of Bublik, only you and me 😉

      2. Naturalization is not a simple process for regular people, because for regular people only the applicant is interested, not the State (which is another “part”).
        Just like with vaccine exemption for Djokovic. It should have been a process (for regular people very complicated or unreachable), but in case of a sports celebrity it was a deal. Which failed only because all involved parties were unprofessional or have made simple mistakes with big consequences.

      3. Naturalisation has nothing to do with nationality, birthplace etc for anyone. It is purely a process and assuming the country has it, anyone can do it. You could become a citizen of Kazakhstan if you were willing to pay a Kazakhstani woman enough to marry you and live there for 3 years. Not many will be interested in a Kazakhstani passport though, as you have to renounce your other citizenship if it’s not a former soviet country.

        Maybe it was expedited for Bublik and the others as a ‘deal’ like you put it. Maybe he has a close relative who is a citizen in which case you can become a citizen without much hassle.

      4. You just give evidence of naturalization to be not the same for regular people and for celebs or potential celebs (promising athletes). In Bublik’s case it was Kazakhstan which was interested and ready to pay Bublik for representing Kazakhstan. He would not meet any criteria set in the Citizenship Law of Kazakhstan (here’s the link if you can download PDF https://www.legislationline.org/documents/id/20123). But there’s another path for athletes and some specified professions – in these cases it’s a deal. Nothing new on Earth. Most of top British tennis players (Konta, Raducanu, Edmund, Norrie) come just from such deals. Poland has also a long list of athletes, “purchased” this way – for instance the Cuban volleyball player Wilfredo Leon, leader of Polish national team, barely speaking Polish). Naturalization is obviously a long process for people like economic or political immigrants, refugees and so on. I guess, they can rarely be able to pay a Polish woman for marriage and even then it takes years. A footballer gets naturalized in a day.

      5. Norrie is citizenship by descent. Radacanu and Konta are citizenship by regular naturalisation not ‘deals’.

        I dunno how Bublik achieved it, either via descent, or an expedited naturalisation like you say, a deal.

      6. Forgot Edmund as well, he is citizenship by descent. So no deals here.

        Not sure of any deals tbh elsewhere. Bedene was not a deal, it was naturalisation.

      7. I don’t about British cases, but I know about some in Poland. It’s always formally naturalization. But over a special instant path in sports. Never so easy for regulars. Probably the same in UK and elsewhere.
        But the called tennis cases in UK could have been naturalizations, independent on the interest in getting talents by LTA or getting better career conditions by the players.
        Don’t know, what’s status of Hurkacz in US, but he is still Polish citizen, while living with whole family (parents, sister, whoever) in Florida. Don’t know who is financing the arrangement. Maybe sponsors. He has not yet earned so much to live in US with family, I guess.

  8. My prediction couldn’t be worse 😉 But a lot of fun (not for Zverev and his fans) to watch and hey … maybe creative tennis has a future?

    1. I watched the highlights at the end. Says he won’t go to Rio. I was never much of a fan of his but was popular. I hope he doesn’t end up with pain the rest of his days. Multiple surgeries never seem to have a good ending. Mr Federer?

      1. Mr. Federer should follow Delpo. Just like I supposed in the earlier post. Just Delpo scenario, which I didn’t know before. Delpo is living since long time with everyday’s pain and must stop immediately to do something like tennis-training or another physical attitude with any sports-like intensity.
        Federer should do the same. Next surgery could mean, he risks painful and physically limited life after tennis. What would be the point?
        Before Wimbledon Federer will be very low in ranking and whole world would be happy to see the draw manipulated, so he plays Nadal in first/last round and then the the world applauds and chants and Federer has his last 5 minutes, like he had so many times over 20 years.

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