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Roger Federer’s long-time coach has sparked fear that the Swiss star may not be able to play at the upcoming Laver Cup, where he is set to end his career. The 20-time Major champion confirmed that he would be retiring at the tournament next week in an emotional statement but it appears he is still training to be able to play at his farewell event.
Federer announced his retirement following recent reports that he had suffered a setback with his ongoing knee injury. The 41-year-old has not played since Wimbledon last year, undergoing his third knee surgery shortly after, and was set to use the Laver Cup as his comeback before playing the ATP 500 in Basel next month.
But after it was reported that he was suffering with water in his knee and racing to be ready for the team competition, the 103-time title winner took to social media to announce that he would instead use the Laver Cup as his farewell, retiring at the tournament he co-founded. And his recent issues could stop him from getting on court at the event as he now races to be ready to play at least one final match.
Speaking to Blick, the former world No 1’s long-time coach Severin Luthi admitted that it is not yet “definitive” that Federer will play a match at the Laver Cup, and he could instead cheer Team Europe on from the sidelines. “It’s not definitive yet but he trained hard last week and is training again this week,” he said.
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“His aim is to play something – whether it’s singles or doubles we’ll have to see, but his aim is still to play at the Laver Cup – definitely.” Luthi also explained how intense Federer’s current training schedule was ahead of his last tournament, spending five hours a day on the practice court.
“We have 3 hours in the morning. Trained and in the afternoon another 2 hours of training,” he said. “I want to do my job well there.” Fans are hoping that Federer and his long-time rival Rafael Nadal will pair up for one final doubles match together at the Ryder Cup-style event.
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The first and only time they took to the same side of the court came at the inaugural Laver Cup in 2017, where they defeated Team World’s Sam Querrey and Jack Sock. They were then drafted to join forces again at the 2019 Laver Cup in Geneva but the Spaniard was forced to withdraw injured.
And it seems tennis fans could get their wish if Federer manages to hold up for one more match, as Nadal told him he would see him in London next week while paying tribute to his “friend and rival”. He tweeted: “For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you in London @LaverCup”.
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