Swiss tennis great Roger Federer said he hopes to recover from his latest knee surgery and get back on the ATP circuit next season.
“Yes, definitely,” Federer told newspaper Tages-Anzeiger when asked if he wanted to return to the ATP tour in 2023.
“How, why and to do what, I don’t yet know, but that would be the idea,” the 20-time Grand Slam title winner and former world No. 1 said in an interview published Sunday.
“I haven’t planned more than the Laver Cup and Basel yet. After Basel, the season is over anyway. It’s important for me to get fit again so that I can train fully. Once I’ve done that, I can choose how many tournaments I play and where.
“The Laver Cup is a good start, I don’t have to play five matches in six days. I will have be able to do that in Basel. But I’m hopeful, I’ve come a long way. I’m not far away…”
Federer, who will be 41 in August, has not played since a quarterfinal defeat at Wimbledon almost a year ago and his latest knee surgery was his third in 18 months.
“I myself am curious to see what will follow,” Federer said. “But I have hope, I have already come a long way. I’m not far. The next three or four months will be extremely important.”
Federer told Swiss broadcaster SRF on Saturday that he is “currently focusing on (his) physical condition so that there is no overload” and goes to the gym “five to six times a week.”
Earlier this year, Federer had confirmed his plans to team up with Spaniard Rafa Nadal at the Laver Cup in London from Sept. 23-25, before competing at the Swiss Indoors tournament in his hometown Basel from Oct. 24-30.
Federer’s Laver Cup teammate Nadal demolished Norway’s Casper Ruud to claim a record-extending 14th Roland Garros crown earlier this month, and Federer was full of praise for the Spaniard’s accomplishments.
“In general, it’s just unbelievable what Rafa has achieved,” Federer said. “The record of Pete Sampras, which I beat, was 14 Grand Slam titles.
“Now Rafa won the French Open 14 times. That’s unbelievable. I was happy for him that he did it again. Hats off to Rafa. After the 10th, 11th time, I already thought, ‘This can’t be’. He keeps raising the bar. It’s gigantic.”
Federer paired up with Nadal for their first and only doubles match together at the inaugural edition of the Laver Cup in Prague in 2017.
The winner of 103 trophies over his career, Federer played only 13 matches in 2021 and just six in 2020. He is currently ranked 50th in ATP standings, his lowest in 22 years.