Eternal rivals for almost 20 years, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will team up on Friday for an “unforgettable” doubles match in London, a moment in the annals of tennis that will put an end to the Swiss’s exceptional career.
Federer, 41, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, announced last week that he was leaving the competition, unable to regain his level after several knee operations.
He would have wanted to play one last time at Wimbledon, a championship he won 8 times, but his physical condition does not allow it. So he will hit his last balls in the Laver Cup, a tournament that he helped create in homage to another historical figure of the ‘white sport’, the Australian Rod Laver.
And he will do it as he had hoped: a doubles match alongside his longtime friend and opponent, Nadal, representing Team Europe, against Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe, for Team World.
After “all the incredible things that we have shared on and off the slopes” for almost 20 years, “being part of this historic moment will be something unforgettable for me,” the Spaniard said at a press conference in London on Thursday.
From Friday to Sunday, Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini will face Sock, Tiafoe, Diego Schwartzman, Alex de Miñaur, Taylor Fritz and Félix Auger-Aliassime at the O2 Arena.
They will be led by Björn Borg and John McEnroe, respectively.
In previous editions, the European team always triumphed. But this time all the attention is focused on the farewell of a legend.
PROGRAM – LAVER CUP 2022
- Casper Ruud (Europe) vs. Jack Sock (World), from 08:00 from Paraguay
- Stefanos Tsitsipas (Europe) vs. Diego Schwartzman (World), next
- Andy Murray (Europe) vs. Alex de Miñaur (World), from 2:00 p.m.
- Roger Federer/Rafael Nadal (Europe) vs. Jack Sock/Frances Tiafoe (World), then