Federer yet to decide on Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Published by AP / Reuters

Roger Federer in action on the practice court in preparation for the 2019 Laver Cup in Geneva (Getty Images)
A doubles gold medallist in Beijing 2008, Roger Federer says he is ‘very excited’ about the prospect of competing again for Switzerland at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Roger Federer plans to decide “in the next month or so” whether he will play at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Federer said on Tuesday his 2020 schedule is already set through to Wimbledon, which ends 12 July. The week-long Olympic tournament starts on 25 July and ends a few days before his 39th birthday.

“I guess I’m going to be deciding on the Olympic Games in the next few weeks, hopefully in the next month or so,” he said.

Speaking ahead of the Laver Cup team competition he co-owns, Federer said he is “very excited about the prospect” of Tokyo. “I just have to see how is the family, how is my body doing,” Federer said in a Swiss TV interview.

Federer is a four-time Olympian, meeting his wife at the 2000 Sydney Games and twice carrying Switzerland’s flag at opening ceremonies. He won doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver in singles at the 2012 London Games, where the tennis event was played at Wimbledon.

“It’s been such a special event for me,” he said.

He missed the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics because of injury.

To play in Tokyo, Federer would likely have to get a wildcard exemption from the International Tennis Federation as he has not played the required amount of Davis Cup games to be eligible by right.

Also emerging from Laver Cup preparations in Geneva was the news, from Federer’s long-term coach Severin Luthi, that Federer was unconcerned about rival Rafael Nadal rapidly closing in on his all-time men’s record of 20 major singles titles.

The 38-year-old Swiss began the year three ahead of second-placed Nadal’s haul but the Spaniard claimed a 12th French Open title this year followed up by winning the US Open this month.

It has re-energised the GOAT (greatest of all time) debate with Nadal, who has 19 slams and appears back to his best after injury concerns earlier this year.

Never in his career has Nadal been only one Grand Slam title behind Federer, who squandered two match points against Novak Djokovic in this year’s Wimbledon final.

“No, I don’t think he stresses (about Nadal catching him up),” said Swiss Luthi, who has toured with Federer since 2007.

“He focuses on himself. He has a lot of respect for Rafa and knows what it takes to win that many titles.

“I don’t see him in any way stressed. He won’t be completely destroyed if Rafa makes the 20.”

Luthi said fans of tennis should savour watching the two greats, rather than obsess about who is superior. “It’s good for the fans,” he said.

“Especially the ones who thought it was all over when Roger had 16 or 17 and Rafa had 14.”

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