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Roger Federer Reportedly ‘Working Hard’ To Play The Australian Open; Rafael Nadal Plans To Play

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at November 6, 2021

Roger Federer is reportedly “working hard” to play the Australian Open beginning Jan. 17, while Rafael Nadal plans to compete in the first Grand Slam of 2022.

Both tennis legends have 20 Grand Slam singles titles, as does world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Federer, 40, hasn’t played since losing in the Wimbledon quarterfinals to Hubert Hurkacz and announced in August that he would be undergoing a third knee surgery. Nadal, 35, ended his 2021 season in August ahead of the U.S. Open due to a foot injury.

Darren Cahill, a respected ESPN tennis analyst and the former coach of two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep, initially said he was “pretty sure” Federer will return in Melbourne, but later walked it back by Tweeting “he’s working hard and doing everything possible to play the AO.”

Earlier, Cahill was more assertive.

“There’s so many great stories coming into the Australian Open,” he said on Australia’s Sportsday.

“Roger is apparently playing, I know he’s doing a lot of work on the court at the moment and we’re pretty sure he’s going to come down to play the Australian Open.

“At 40 years of age, the fact that he’s even doing what he’s doing is quite remarkable. He’s trying to get 21 (major titles).

“Rafael is training his backside off, I’ve seen a lot of vision of him in Spain and he’s working incredibly hard going for 21.

“Then of course Novak (Djokovic) and what he tried to do in 2021 by nearly winning the Grand Slam, which hasn’t been done since 1969.

“Tennis is much bigger than one individual, I think Novak will be here but if he doesn’t come down, the event will still be a major success.

“It will be disappointing not to see him… but once the event starts, away you go and the stories develop. The tournament in 2022 will be huge not just for the players but also for the public.”

Nadal, whose last major title came at the French Open in 2020, is on record saying he planned to return to the court in December.

“My plan is to play Abu Dhabi in December and then in a tournament before Australia and then the Australian Open, that’s my goal,” he said.

Djokovic, 34, reached the final of the the Paris Indoor where he will face Daniil Medvedev in a rematch of the U.S. Open final won by Medvedev, spoiling Djokovic’s chance to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the calendar Grand Slam. With his semifinal win, Djokovic insured he will be the year-end No. 1 for a record seventh time.

His status for the Australian Open is in doubt due to vaccine mandates in the country. Djokovic has refused to disclose his vaccination status, meaning he would not be able to compete in Australia if proof of a double-jab is required.

“I don’t know if I’m going to Australia, I don’t know what’s going on,” the nine-time champion said last month. “Currently, the situation is not good at all.

“The media has become…I have no word how to describe it. It spreads fear and panic among people and I don’t want to participate in that rift. I feel that everyone is hostile. I don’t want to give them a reason to write some things about me.”

This post was updated at 10:54 ET on Nov. 6.

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