Tagged in: Swiss Indoors

Roger Federer plans return to tournament play at Swiss Indoors

Roger Federer intends to return to tournament tennis after what will have been more than a year away from the tour by playing at the Swiss Indoors in October.

The event in Basel revealed in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday that the 20-time Grand Slam champion “has officially entered the tournament and will appear on the entry list with the protected ATP ranking” of No. 9.

His agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed Federer’s plan to The Associated Press.

Federer’s first match there is scheduled for Oct. 25, according to the website. The Swiss star has not played a competitive match since losing to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on July 7.

Soon after that defeat, Federer had surgery to repair damage to his meniscus and cartilage in his right knee — the third time in a span of 1½ years that knee was operated on.

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Federer, 40, has won a men’s record eight championships at the All England Club.

He and Novak Djokovic are tied for the second-most overall major tennis titles acquired by a man; they trail Rafael Nadal, who has 21.

Federer said in an interview with a Swiss newspaper in November that he expected to miss Wimbledon this year — it starts on June 27 — and was not sure when, if ever, he might be able to play again at a high level, although he did “want to see one last time what I’m capable of as a professional tennis player.”

In February, Federer and Nadal announced they were both planning to participate in the Laver Cup in London on Sept. 23-25.

That would mark Federer’s return to action for the first time since last July — albeit not at a full-fledged tournament but at a team event founded by his management company.

Federer has won the Swiss Indoors trophy 10 times. The tournament will return this year after being called off in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Zverev stunned at Basel, ATP Finals spot at risk

Second-seeded Alexander Zverev was eliminated in the first round of the Swiss Indoors on Tuesday, losing 7-6 (7), 6-4 to Taylor Fritz.

Zverev led 4-0 in the first-set tiebreaker and later held a set point before Fritz took his opportunity to clinch it with an ace.

The 31st-ranked American got the only service break of the match in the third game of the second set and converted his first match point with a two-handed backhand winner.

The defeat rules out a possible final against top-seeded Roger Federer, who part owns the agency which manages the sixth-ranked German’s career.

The loss also harms Zverev’s chances of defending his ATP Finals title next month.

He is seventh in the season-long standings to progress to the eight-man event in London.

The German’s defeat to the 21-year-old American came barely a week after defeat in the Shanghai Masters final to Daniil Medvedev and puts his chance of defending his ATP Finals title in London at risk. “I was completely flat for some reason,” he said. “I was tired and not focused at all. It was a weird feeling.”

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Zverev conquered the season-ending tournament last November, beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic back-to-back.

The season points race will be determined next week at the Paris Masters as the last two of the eight spots are decided.

“The way I played today, in my current mental stage, I’m not going to beat anybody,” Zverev, ranked seventh in the world, said.

“I’m very disappointed but it’s more about myself than the result.”

Zverev, a semi-finalist last year in Basel, fought hard to take the opening set into a tiebreaker, but was overwhelmed in the second by his American adversary in 86 minutes.

“Normally I really enjoy it on court, the tough moments, the fighting,” Zverev said. “But today I was completely out of it. I may go home for a few days and clear my mind. I’ll try to do well in Paris and hopefully make it to London.”

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