Federer Confirms His Goals For Remainder Of 2022 Season

Roger Federer

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

On a day in which 20-time major champion Roger Federer opened one of 31 nature-oriented playgrounds in Switzerland that he had financed, Tages-Anzeiger sports editor Simon Graf spoke to the future Hall of Famer about his comeback plans.

Here’s what we learned about the 40-year-old Federer from Graf’s exclusive interview:

• Federer’s goals for the remainder of the 2022 season following his recovery from knee surgery include participating in the Laver Cup in London, which begins September 23, followed by the Swiss Indoors in Basel starting on October 22.

“After Basel, the season is over anyway,” Federer told Graf. “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 to be able to do that in Basel. That’s why I have to prepare for it in practice. I’m curious myself what’s still to come. But I’m hopeful, I’ve come a long way. I’m not far away. The next three or four months will be extremely important.”

• Asked by Graf if he wishes to return to the ATP Tour in 2023 at age 41, if his knee cooperates, Federer replied affirmatively. “Yes, definitely. How and where, I don’t know yet. But that would be the idea. Definitely.”

• In speaking about Rafael Nadal’s French Open title win, Federer expressed: “I didn’t watch the final, I watched the quarterfinal (against Djokovic) a bit before I went to sleep. In general, it’s just unbelievable what Rafa has achieved. The record of Pete Sampras, which I beat, was 14 Grand Slam titles.

“Now Rafa has 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 tenth, eleventh time, I already thought: This can’t be. He keeps raising the bar. It’s gigantic.”

Despite loss, Medvedev returns to World No. 1 ranking

Daniil Medvedev knew going into his Libéma Open title match against his opponent, 205th-ranked Dutchman Tim Van Rijthoven, that regardless of the result he would reclaim the No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings from Novak Djokovic on Monday, when the rankings points from 2021 Roland Garros drop.

After winning his semifinal match over Adrian Mannarino Saturday, Medvedev said: “It would be great [to win] but it is never easy. I have to show my best tennis. Even if I lose, I have no regrets, but of course I will try my best. Every time you are in a final you want to win.”

As it happened, the Dutch wild card Van Rijthoven completed a dream week on Tour. After defeating World No. 14 and third seed Taylor Fritz in the second round and World No. 9 and second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semifinals, Van Rijthoven knocked off the top seed Medvedev, 6-4, 6-1, in Sunday’s title match. He became the lowest-ranked player to win an ATP singles title this season.

Van Rijthoven was appearing in not only his first ATP Tour final but also in just his second ATP Tour main draw at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

“This is new for me, it’s going to take some time getting used to,” Van Rijthoven said in an on-court interview during the trophy ceremony. “What a dream this week. I would like to thank my team for staying humble this week, doing the normal things, not making this thing any bigger than it was.

“I would like to thank all of you,” Van Rijthoven added. “Your support was incredible this week.”

Medvedev handled the loss humbly and complimented Van Rijthoven. “Amazing week. [You] destroyed the No. 2 in the world in straight sets in the final, so I think it must be a good feeling!” he said to Van Rijthoven. “An amazing match today. Keep it going. I remember you from juniors, you have the talent so now you need to make more matches like this and more tournaments like this! Congrats to you and your team.”

Surbiton and Stuttgart showed Murray has come a long way

Andy Murray‘s back-to-back performances on grass in Surbiton, Great Britain and Stuttgart, Germany, which lifted his ranking into the Top 50, have shown how far he has progressed in his comeback from hip replacement and hip resurfacing surgeries that nearly forced him to retire.

At the BOSS Open in Stuttgart, the 35-year-old Murray played inspiring tennis that The Tennis Podcast labeled as both “brilliant and pulsating.”

The 68th-ranked Murray, who reached his first final on grass since 2016, eliminated No. 78 Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the semifinal Saturday afternoon before losing to World No. 10 Matteo Berrettini of Italy, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, in Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute title match.

Berrettini, who also won the Stuttgart title in 2019, gave props to Murray during the trophy presentation. “Unbelievable fighter,” he said. “The fighting spirit that Andy is showing on the court, I’m still learning and I remember when I was a kid, I was watching you on TV and now it doesn’t feel real that I’m here playing against you. So thanks for what you’re doing for the sport and for inspiring all the kids.”

After Murray beat Kyrgios on Saturday, he commented: “It has been a long time since the last final [on grass]. A lot of ups and downs, but I kept going and kept working and finally managed to get to another one. I am proud of the effort I have put in.”

Then, following Sunday’s final, Murray said: “Obviously, some good wins; it was a good week, but not the way I wanted to finish the week.”

Murray, who will rise to No. 47 on Monday, is 7-2 on grass over the past two weeks. Now, it’s on to Queen’s Club in London, where he will face Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, ranked 32nd, in the opening round and could face second-seeded Berrettini in the second round.

At age 36, Flipkens is proving she’s still got game

Veteran Kristen Flipkens of Belgium, who recently announced she would retire from singles play after Wimbledon to concentrate full time on playing doubles, showed this week at the Libéma Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands that she’s still got game.

Rafa Nadal Academy sports an updated look to its Nadal museum

After Rafael Nadal won his 22nd career major title last Sunday at the French Open, it was time to update the museum display at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Mallorca.

When Emma Raducanu met Dua Lipa during Evian campaign

On Friday, reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu shared a snapshot of her Evian Water campaign with English disco-pop singer Dua Lipa. There were plenty of smiles shared all around.

By the numbers

• Since 2015, only Roger Federer (8) and Novak Djokovic (6) have reached more grass finals than Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini (tied with four, along with Marin Cilic). Murray and Berrettini played in the BOSS Open title match in Stuttgart on Sunday.

• The numbers are in for France television ratings for the French Open singles finals.

The Rafael Nadal-Casper Ruud men’s final on June 5 was seen by 4.6 million viewers (39.4% audience share) and peaked at 6.4 million. It’s the biggest viewership for a men’s Roland Garros final since 2012.

The Iga Swiatek-Coco Gauff women’s final on June 4s. seen by 2.1 million viewers (25.2% audience share) and peaked at 3.2 million. It’s the biggest viewership for a women’s Roland Garros final since 2014.

“Quotable …”

“To win an ATP Tour title means a lot to me. But to win it at home means the world to me. The support has been incredible here. The crowd has been amazing and it is a great achievement for me. … I never thought I would win the tournament. I wanted to maybe upset one player. But to upset a couple of players and win the title is just incredible.”

– No. 205 Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands, who became the first Dutchman to win the Libéma Open since 2003, as quoted by the ATP Tour website.

• “It was amazing. I never expected that I would have a lot of people cheering for me. Thank you for making it special for me. … I never thought my first title would be on grass. I didn’t create any expectations. I just came here to improve my game, to play every single point. I gave 100 percent. I was just trying to fight. I’m very happy to win this title here.”

– No. 48 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil, who on Sunday won the WTA 250 Rothesay Open in Nottingham, England, for her first WTA tour-level title and first on grass, as quoted during an on-court interview during the trophy ceremony.