Roger Federer ‘still has the flame burning’ as agent provides injury return update

Roger Federer to miss US Open and undergo knee surgery

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Tennis icon Roger Federer is nearing a return and his passion for the sport is ‘still burning’, according to his agent. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played since appearing at Wimbledon last year where he was upset by Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals. 

Federer has been spotted at a number of events recently, including the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona last weekend where he was a guest of Mercedes. The 40-year-old also posted images of himself on Instagram ‘feeling like a tourist’ in his home country of Switzerland. 

Of course, fans would rather see him on the court. There was a wave of optimism spreading around the tennis world when he posted pictures from the gym, fuelling speculation of his return before the end of the calendar year.

The exact date of Federer’s return to competitive action for the first time since that defeat to Hurkacz remains unclear. Having already confirmed he will not be at Wimbledon this summer, the Swiss star will have spent more than 12 months out nursing injury.

It appears Federer will play in London this year when the Laver Cup is contested at the O2 Arena from Friday 23 June to Sunday 25 June. His agent Tony Godsick believes a return to action with Team Europe would be the perfect introduction.

“I think the Laver Cup could be, if that’s the first event that he’s back, a nice entry way back for him, because he’ll be surrounded by friends and comrades,” Godsick, Federer’s long-time agent and business partner, told i. “Even if you’ve played tennis for so long like he has, coming back after a lay-off like that, it’s nice to have a little support.”

The Laver Cup, essentially the Ryder Cup of tennis, pits Europe against the Rest of World rather than the United States over a three-day format. Federer came up with the idea in the back of a taxi in Shanghai, and he wanted to pay tribute to Rod Laver – not necessarily financially, but in the form of a tournament.

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It has been a social media success as well as a commercially lucrative event, with the doubles combination of Federer and rival-turned-friend Rafael Nadal fulfilling the dreams of millions of fans. While the event is wildly popular, Federer is undoubtedly targeting a return to the ATP Tour. 

“I know Roger well enough to know that he still has the flame burning to compete,” added Godsick, who is also the Laver Cup chairman. “His real motivation is to come back to compete on the ATP tour and sort of try to end his career, the way he wants to end it healthy and successful and on his terms.”

Federer’s absence will surely be more felt at Wimbledon in a month’s time, as the Swiss star has won the Championships on eight occasions and appeared in each edition of the tournament since 1999. Wimbledon organisers – as well as millions of fans – will undoubtedly hope to see Federer compete at SW19 one last time.

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