Roger Federer ready to ‘return to the court’ as he hints at big plan

Kevin Palmer
Roger Federer hints at return in exhibition matches
Roger Federer hints at return in exhibition matches

Roger Federer has been a big loss to the tennis scene since his retirement from the sport last September, but he has given his fans hope that he could be back in court soon.

Federer’s knee problem forced him to call time on his record-breaking career and at the age of 42, there is no chance that this father of four will attempt to make a return to the ATP Tour.

Yet he was back on court for promotional events at the Laver Cup last weekend and appeared to be moving well as he showcased his skills to onlooking fans.

Now Federer has confirmed he is getting in shape for what could be a lucrative return to the court in exhibition matches.

Federer is keen to promote his Foundation with money-spinning events and exhibitions played in front of huge crowds against rivals like Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray could offer the potential for huge crowds and revenue.

“I’m in the gym, I’m getting back on court and I’d love to play to exo’s,” he said at the Laver Cup.

“Secretly, I miss it, of course. I miss seeing the happy faces of people that hopefully I was able to entertain.

“You miss the exciting moments spent on court, the break points saved, winning match points, holding up trophies, walking past fans, taking selfies.

“I guess you like to be the centre of attention at times, but on the other hand, it doesn’t matter that I’m not any more.

“It’s good with the way my life is right now. The Tour was good to me. I loved every moment, but I am happy with my life now.

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“It’s been beautiful to be home more. Spending time with friends and family has been incredible.

“Days are long but at the same time, I feel I don’t have enough time because I pack my schedule up.

“Four kids will do that to you as well. I am a professional driver nowadays, organiser and logistics man. It is a test on another level.

“They are amazing, I love them. But my god, I can’t believe who they are right now at 14. I feel like I have taught them everything and more and at the moment it is complicated but in a good way.”

Federer has played exhibition matches in his Match For Africa series during his playing days, with the most recent event taking place in early 2020 as he played against Nadal.

Roger and Rafa also played a doubles match with entrepreneur Bill Gates and TV presenter Trevor Noah in Cape Town, shortly before Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill.

Federer’s foundation raised $3.5m from an event that drew a crowd of 51,954 – the biggest-ever crowd to attend a tennis match on record.

Tennis greats such as John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg played exhibition events after their careers ended and now there is an possibility that we will see something similar with Federer and Nadal.

Despite enjoying a thrilling rivalry over the last two decades, Federer and Nadal have built up a strong bond off the court and while Nadal is still striving to return to the game after his own injury problems, the pair would be a big draw for global audiences if they played exhibition matches.