The Europe dream team at this month’s Laver Cup could well be missing two vital elements, with both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal somewhat doubtful of making the September 23 start in London.
Federer’s agent – and Laver Cup officials – Tony Godsick gave a realistic appraisal of his tournament organising partner’s condition as the 41-year-old Federer fights to return to form after two seasons and three knee surgeries.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner last played at Wimbledon, 2021, losing on the quarter-finals to Hubert Hurkacz.
He has been rehabbing after another medical procedure in recent weeks and months.
“Roger has been practicing for some weeks now. He is feeling some pain but keeps trying.
“He’s been training for weeks and wants to start in London and Basel. We’ll see at the Laver Cup whether his knee will hold up,” Godsick said.
Federer and Godsick’s Team8 management group created the Europe v World Laver Cup five years ago.
Nadal was due to play on the Europe side along with Federer and Novak Djokovic, but the Spaniard could also now be an absentee.
His wife Xisca is experiencing a difficult pregnancy and is resting in a Spanish hospital under doctor’s orders.
ATP No. 3 Nadal lost to Frances Tiafoe in the US Open fourth round this week and immediately headed home with no firm indication of his playing schedule from here on in.
“I have more important things than tennis to attend to,” the 36-year-old he said.
“Decisions (on when to resume playing) 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.”
Djokovic should front up, as the unvaxxed COVID status which banned him from all US and Canadian events this year is not a problem in Britain.
Main photo:- Team Europe are current holders of the Laver Cup