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:
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.