Roger Federer ready to play doubles with Rafael Nadal at Laver Cup in the last professional match

Roger Federer ready to play doubles with Rafael Nadal at Laver Cup in the last professional match

Roger Federer will pair with Rafael Nadal as he plays the last ATP match of his career at the Laver Cup on Friday as they represent Team Europe. The draw, announced Thursday, has them playing Americans Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock representing Team World.

The event will be held in London, which is the same city in which Federer has registered eight Wimbledon singles titles, an all-time record for men. The 20-time Grand Slam champion said he will only play one match and 26-year-old Italian Matteo Berrettini will take his place for the rest of the competition. This is due to Federer’s ongoing injury problems.

Friday will not be the first time that Nadal and Federer have found themselves on the same side of the court. They played together in the first Laver Cup in 2017, and Sock was also one of their opponents. Before that, they had only practiced together once, because, as Federer said at the time, they were “always and forever rivals” as long as they were both active.

During his 2017 press conference, Nadal said that the inaugural Laver Cup was an “ideal” day to finally play together. Now, it’s hard to argue that the same can’t be said for Friday’s game.

At Thursday’s news conference, Nadal described their tennis relationship as a “friendly rivalry” and said seeing Federer go will not be easy.

“Tomorrow is going to be something special,” Nadal said. “I think it’s very difficult. It’s going to be difficult to manage everything, especially for Roger, certainly for me as well. One of the most important players, if not the most important player in my tennis career, is leaving. This moment is It’s going to be tough. Of course, I’m super excited and grateful to play with him.”

In total, Federer and Nadal have met 40 times throughout their careers, 14 of them at Grand Slams. They gave fans instant classics like the 2008 Wimbledon final.

The third member of the Big Three of men’s tennis, Novak Djokovic, will also participate this weekend. The Serbian veteran played Federer 50 times. He said that he understands that this weekend is a competition, but that there is no doubt that Federer is the biggest story on everyone’s mind.

“Most of us have seen and admired Rogers’ success and achievements…we will do our best to contribute to the team and perform well, but at the same time, marvel and celebrate his career because he deserves it in a big way.” way,” Djokovic said.

Federer and Nadal are set to play in Friday night’s session, which begins at 2 pm ET. Their match is likely to start around 4 pm ET.

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