Roger Federer a major doubt for Laver Cup as latest reports suggest he has suffered another setback

Shahida Jacobs
Roger Federer disappointed

There are fresh doubts over Roger Federer’s return date as reports in the Swiss media claim he is unlikely to take part in the Laver Cup following complications to his recovery.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner has not played competitive tennis since losing in the quarter-final at Wimbledon in 2021 as he underwent a third operation on his injured right knee after his exit from the grass-court major.

He earmarked a return to action in the second half of this season as he had signed up for the Laver Cup and the Swiss Indoors in Basel and his agent Tony Godsick admitted in May that the main aim was to have another crack at Wimbledon next year.

The 41-year-old Federer, who also underwent two operations on his knee in the first half of 2020, has also given several positive updates about his rehab on social media.

However, Swiss media is reporting that he has suffered a setback with Tages Anzeiger saying he has “liquid in his right knee and it has become inflamed”, forcing him to scale back on his training.

If the reports are proven to be accurate, then he will likely miss the fifth edition of the Laver Cup, which will take place from September 23-25 at London’s O2 Arena. It remains to be seen if he will be fit for the Swiss Indoors, which starts on October 24 in Basel.

Having played only a handful of tournaments since the start of the 2020 season, the tennis great fell out of the ATP Rankings in July this year. It means he will have to rely upon wildcards to enter big events or he will have to come through qualifying.

In an interview with Algemeen Dagblad, Federer admitted that is enjoying his time at home, saying: “I love to win, but if you’re not competitive any more, then it’s better to stop.

“I don’t think I need the tennis. I am happy with the little things, like when my son does something right and when my daughter comes home with a good grade.

“Tennis is part of, but not my entire identity. I want to be and remain successful, and put a lot of energy into business – probably give more than I should sometimes, but that can also be done outside of sports. I know a professional career can’t last forever and that’s okay.”

Organisers of the Laver Cup had high hopes of a Big Four reunion as Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have all signed up, but there are also question marks over Nadal and Djokovic’s participation.

Nadal admitted after his fourth-round defeat from the US Open earlier this week that he is unsure when he will return to action as his wife is due to give birth in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Djokovic pulled out of the Davis Cup on Monday due to “personal reasons” and it remains to be seen when the 21-time Grand Slam winner will return to action as he has not played tennis since winning the Wimbledon title in July as he was unable to travel to North America due to his unvaccinated status.