Roger Federer has teamed up with the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton to announce a charity event that will take place in the lead-up to the tennis great's much-anticipated return.
Federer hasn't played on the ATP tour since his loss in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2021.
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He subsequently underwent a third surgery on his troublesome knee and has slowly been working his way back to full fitness in order to make a comeback.
The 20-time grand slam champion will make his competitive return at the Laver Cup in September before playing the ATP event in Basel in October.
But before he makes his return at the Laver Cup he will hit the court for a charity event with the Duchess of Cambridge.
Federer and Kate will take part in the 'Laver Cup Open Practice Day' on September 22 for a charity event that will raise money for disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
Fellow tennis greats Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will also take part before teaming up for Team Europe in the Laver Cup.
The event will raise money for two organisations that Kate is a patron for – Action for Children and the Lawn Tennis Association.
"Excited to announce that Laver Cup is partnering with The Duchess of Cambridge this year to raise funds for two incredible charities," Federer tweeted.
"Thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you in London!"
Excited to announce that Laver Cup is partnering with The Duchess of Cambridge this year to raise funds for two incredible charities – @actionforchildrenuk and the @LTA Tennis Foundation. Thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you in London! https://t.co/7B82Gkj5EE
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) August 17, 2022
Kensington Palace said the collaboration with the Laver Cup - which Federer helped to create - was Kate's idea.
The Palace said the Duchess is “passionate about supporting grassroots tennis and encouraging young people from all backgrounds to become involved in the sport”.
Kate is a patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club - the organisation which stages Wimbledon every year.
She often presents the trophies to the finalists at the grass-court grand slam and handed Federer his runner-up trophy after his loss to Novak Djokovic in 2019.
The Duchess has previously revealed how Federer is Prince George's favourite player, while the Swiss Maestro and wife Mirka were guests at Pippa Middleton's wedding in 2017.
“Roger is my mother’s heartthrob," Kate once revealed in an interview with the BBC.
"I don’t think she will mind me saying that. I think he probably knows that too.”
Thank you so much for including our charity. This amazing event will help to make a huge difference to vulnerable children in the UK ❤️🎾
— Action for Children (@actnforchildren) August 18, 2022
It’s specifically to raise money for charity. That’s always priced higher. It’s a shame but they know they’ll be able to sell out at those prices and need to maximise what they raise.
— AMM (@MctavishAnne) August 17, 2022
Wheow! Laver Cup couldn’t get any better than this - playing for good causes.. ‘excited to see you play again, Roger!! I hope you and all the other tennis masters have fun at the tournament! Let the games begin, Team Europe and Team World!!
— Joy (@RFsimplyDbest) August 17, 2022
Ah, couldn’t have wished for a better team, the Gentleman of Tennis & a real gem of the Royal family! Two stars doing great things! Bravo
— VictoireRomy (@emerald88604982) August 17, 2022
Oh my God, Federer with The Duchess of Cambridge, love this!!!!!!! https://t.co/V9Gv9bZzuR
— Mione48 (@Mione48) August 17, 2022
Roger Federer to make return at Laver Cup
Captained by Bjorn Borg, Europe's dream line-up of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray will take on John McEnroe's Team World in the fifth edition of the event at London's O2 stadium from September 23-25.
It will mark the first time Djokovic will appear at the event since 2018 when it was held in Chicago, and the first time ever that all four members of the 'Big 4' will play together.
The last time Djokovic played in 2018, the only other member of the 'Big 4' to play was Federer, but in 2022 Team Europe will have all four at their disposal.
"It's the only competition where you can play in a team environment with guys that you're normally competing against and to be joining Rafa, Roger and Andy - three of my biggest all-time rivals," Djokovic said when announcing his participation.
"It's going to be a truly unique moment in the history of our sport."
Team Europe are bidding for a fifth-successive Laver Cup triumph and are unbeaten in the format having won in Prague 2017, Chicago 2018, Geneva 2019 and Boston 2021.
"I don't think I could have imagined having these four icons of the sport on one team together," Borg said.
"I know they, like I, appreciate the significance of this moment and will be truly up for it.
"Each year our goal is to win. With Rafa, Roger, Andy and Novak on the team, I like our chances."
Unfortunately for Team World, Nick Kyrgios has announced he's unavailable and will return to Australia to spend some much-needed time with his family.
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