Roger Federer is reportedly in serious doubt for the Laver Cup later this month in what is supposed to be his return to tennis after over a year on the sidelines.
The 41-year-old champion hasn't played since losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2021 after undergoing a third knee surgery.
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The 20-time grand slam champion has been slowly working his way back to full fitness and is supposed to make his return at the Laver Cup on September 23 - teaming up with Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on Team Europe.
However reports out of Switzerland have stated that Federer is highly unlikely to play due to fluid on his knee and inflammation.
According to Swiss publication Tages Anzeiger, Federer could be forced to play a lighter Laver Cup schedule or skip the event completely.
If he does play he would be required to play at least one singles and one doubles match, as per the rules of the event.
If Federer is forced to miss the event it would be a huge blow to organisers, with fans snapping up tickets at skyrocketing prices due to the prospect of seeing the Swiss legend play alongside great rivals Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.
The Laver Cup has been touted as the first time that all four members of the 'Big 4' with play together on the same team, however there are also doubts over Nadal's participation.
Speaking after his loss in the fourth round at the US Open, the Spaniard said he wasn't sure when he would be back on court.
With his wife Xisca expecting their first baby in weeks and currently hospitalised in Spain, Nadal said he needed to put his personal life first.
"Now I have to go home, I have more important things than tennis to attend to," he said.
"Decisions will be made based on how everything goes in my personal life, which comes before my professional life.
"It's been a bit difficult for a few months but I want to finish the year with something very important that is my first child.
"I need to go back. I need to fix things. I don't know when I'm going to come back.
"I going to try to be ready mentally. When I feel that I will be ready to compete again, I will be there."
Tennis fans were left shattered over the reports that Federer might be forced to miss the Laver Cup.
Yeah it's sad. I remember feeling after 2017 Australian Open that Federer could last forever
— Jim Clark (@ClarkAboveAll) September 7, 2022
The Big 4 reunion is likely minus both Federer and Nadal 👀
— V. Delaney (@Delaney4Tennis) September 7, 2022
No Federer, no Nadal. Big 4 becomes big 2
— Tushar Singh (@Tushar001Singh) September 7, 2022
Potentially no Roger or Rafa at Laver Cup... Unfortunate for all those people who spent thousands of £'s on tickets...
— Ben Gray (@BenSkyWatcher1) September 7, 2022
Rod Laver may have to come back from retirement to play his cup😄
— Shane Lamb (@ShaneLamb_IND) September 7, 2022
No doubt Federer will show up for the event but it wouldn’t be wise to play (and per Laver Cup rules they need to play at least one singles and one doubles) if the rumours are truth. https://t.co/Nlo5xdO3LS
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 7, 2022
Swiss media say it's unlikely Roger Federer will take part in this year's Laver Cup.
A couple of days ago, after his loss to Tiafoe, Nadal said he doesn't know when he will play again.
I guess we are not going to see the Fab 4 playing all together.
— Relevant Tennis | Stats & Info (@RelevantTennis) September 7, 2022
UGH!!! NOT the news any of us, his fans, want to hear... but the lack of almost any info and presence...🤨🤔DID have me worried that things were not going too well...this is just a confirmation it seems...😧😟
— Antonia Nova (@Semper__Veritas) September 7, 2022
Roger Federer set to return in Basel in October
Federer had fans in a frenzy last month when he released footage of himself on the practice court ahead of his return.
The Swiss legend has reportedly been training with former professional player Ivo Huenberger.
He has committed to playing the ATP event in Basel in October in what could be his return to the court if he can't play the Laver Cup.
Reports have been swirling that Federer is on the verge of announcing his retirement, but the 41-year-old hinted at Wimbledon in July that he wanted to play the grass-court grand slam one last time.
“It's great to be here with all the other champions," Federer said during a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of Wimbledon's centre court.
"This court has given me my biggest wins and my biggest losses. I hope I can come back one more time.
“I've missed it here. I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead. I maybe didn't think it was going to take this long to come back - the knee has been rough on me.”
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