Federer gave more information about his return during the inauguration of a children's playground in a school.  Instagram photo @rogerfederer.foundation

Roger Federer’s return to the courts has been confirmed for several months. The appointment that fans of one of the best tennis players of all time, inactive since July of last year due to a problem in his right knee, are looking forward to is the Laver Cupthat exhibition contest that he himself organizes and that will be held from September 23 to 25 at the O2 Sand From london. To see him play for the points we will have to wait a little longer: it will be in the tournament of basel, his home, from October 24 to 30. What will happen after the contest in the Swiss city, not even he knows for sure. Although in the last hours, the former world number one, 40, confirmed that he hopes to play more regularly in 2023.

“Definitely, that is the idea. How and where, I still don’t know,” he assured in a conversation with the media in his country, within the framework of the inauguration of a natural children’s playground in a school in the city of Emmen, as part of a program of his own foundation.

The Swiss, winner of 103 professional titles, had announced a few weeks ago that he will no longer play 20 tournaments per season and will put together a “smaller and more manageable schedule.” And now he confirmed that in the remainder of this 2022, he only has plans to play the Laver and Basel.

Federer gave more information about his return during the inauguration of a children’s playground in a school. Instagram photo @rogerfederer.foundation

“First of all, it’s important for me to get back in shape so I can fully train again. The Laver Cup is a good start, because I’m not going to have to play five games in six days. I should be able to do that in Basel. That’s why I have to prepare well in training. And after Basel, the season is over anyway.”

The Swiss tournament will be played in the week before the Masters 1000 in Paris, the last event on the calendar prior to the ATP Finals, which will bring together the best eight of the season in Turin, from November 13 to 20.

Federer played his last match on July 7, 2021, when he fell in three sets to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. The English Grand Slam was just the fifth appearance of him in a season in which he was dosing efforts not to demand more from a right knee that was not one hundred percent. But on the grass tour (he had played Halle before going to London) the discomfort in the area reappeared and in August he announced that he would undergo surgery again to have a third knee operation.

Then he faced a rehabilitation that ended up taking longer than expected. Although he himself assured this weekend that he does not expect a very fast recovery.

“When they operated on me at the end of August, we already knew that I was going to progress little by little. Today they keep asking me ‘How’s the thing going?’. I can tell it’s still going to take a while. I just have to be patient. I am making steady progress. Now I’m going straight to the gym. And I do it five or six times a week. The goal is to be ready for those two tournaments that I want to play at the end of the year, “explained who, due to his long inactivity, fell to the 50th step of the ranking.

He added: “In the next few months I will have much more information, because now I am running out of space. I play with the children from time to time. I could do much more, but for now we focus on fitness so that there is no overload. Tennis still has to wait a bit. I’ll do enough when the time comes.”

Few certainties remain about the future of Federer’s career. And little else will be known as he continues to recover, because as he has said over and over in the last ten months, he doesn’t want to rush and will return only when his body is ready. Many even dared to predict that his time at Laver and Basel in the coming months was going to be a farewell and that retirement was just around the corner. He himself was in charge of discarding that idea, confirming that he wants to return to the circuit next season.

“I’m curious to see what else is to come. And I’m hopeful, I’ve been on a good path. I’m not too far off. The next three or four months are going to be extremely important,” he said.

Owner of 20 Grand Slams, a category in which for a time he was the most successful in history, Roger took a few minutes in the middle of the talk about his return to give some nice words to Rafael Nadal, who a week ago conquered by 14th time Roland Garros and captured his 22nd Major title, to extend the lead over him and Novak Djokovic in the list of top champions.

“I didn’t watch the final, I watched a bit of the quarterfinal match before going to sleep. It’s amazing what Rafe got. Pete Sampras’ record, which I surpassed, was 14 Grand Slams. Now, Rafe he won 14 times at Roland Garros. Is incredible. I am happy that he has done it again. I take my hat off to him. After the tenth or eleventh time, I thought ‘This can not be’, but keep raising the bar. It’s huge, “Federer said about his great rival and friend. Will they meet again next year on a court?

The funny encounter with a fan

Federer has millions of followers and fans around the world. One of them, Vinicius Carmona Cardoso, was lucky enough to meet him in a restaurant and did not want to miss the opportunity to show his love for the former number one.

Bravely, he got up from his chair and, from a distance, said: “Roger, I have a tattoo of yours. You are my greatest inspiration and I did not expect to find you here”. And encouraged by his companions, he approached to show her his arm, where she had the outline of a tennis court tattooed next to the phrase “There is no way around the hard work. Embrace it” (There is no way to avoid hard work. accept it), a maxim that the Swiss uses as a guide in his career.

In the video, which the same fan shared on his social networks, Federer is seen to be surprised when he sees that what his follower said was true. “Hey, are you kidding me?”, he told her with amusement, as he touched the ink to verify that it was real. So he gave her a handshake, a hug and a photo.

“The day I tattooed Federer, I was sure that one day I would meet him and show him what was under my skin. Keep dreaming and working, because dreaming makes us give our best and then everything is possible. Magic happens Reality. What a humble guy!” Carmona wrote on his Twitter account.

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