Laver Cup preview — Roger Federer performs doubles with Rafael Nadal in his closing match earlier than retirement



LONDON — After 24 years on Tour, with 20 Grand Slam titles and 103 match wins worldwide to his identify, Roger Federer will play his closing skilled match on Friday night time, when he companions along with his outdated rival Rafael Nadal within the doubles on the sixth version of the Laver Cup.

The occasion, created by Federer and his agent, Tony Godsick, pits groups of six gamers in opposition to one another. Alongside Federer and Nadal on Staff Europe can be Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — the primary time the Large 4 have all performed on the Laver Cup on the identical time. This is what you will need to know as we prepare for Federer’s closing match.

Federer’s farewell

Final week, Federer announced his decision to retire from tennis, after confirming that his restoration from proper knee surgical procedure, in 2021, had not been pretty much as good as he had hoped.

It brings an finish to the profession of one of many all-time greats of males’s tennis. Federer gained eight Wimbledon titles, six Australian Opens, 5 US Opens and one French Open title, dominating males’s tennis for a few years.

The 41-year-old, who says he hopes to play exhibition matches sooner or later and has promised to remain near tennis, stated on Thursday he was wanting ahead to enjoying with Nadal, a person whom he met on 40 events, together with 9 Grand Slam finals.

“In fact it is super-special enjoying with Rafa,” Federer stated. “It feels actually totally different. Strolling out on court docket and having the prospect to play with the likes of Rafa or Novak previously has been an incredible expertise for me. To have the ability to do this yet one more time, I am certain it is going to be fantastic. I am going to strive my best. I hope to be good on the market. In fact I’ll take pleasure in it, however will probably be onerous.”

Nadal stated he cannot wait.

“In any case we shared collectively on and off the court docket, to be a part of this historic second goes to be one thing wonderful, unforgettable for me,” he stated.

The Large 4 collectively

For the primary time, the Laver Cup brings collectively Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

The quartet have gained 66 Grand Slam titles and 329 tournaments amongst them, and performed out quite a few Grand Slam finals.

Federer stated having them on his facet was a pleasant change.

“I’m tremendous excited to have them on our group, my group and never having to play in opposition to them, in my final match,” he stated.

Murray, scheduled to play on Friday earlier than Federer and Nadal’s doubles match, agreed.

“I believe the ambiance goes to be unbelievable,” he stated, “Enjoying within the night time session earlier than Roger and Rafa goes to be actually particular.”

Can Staff World break by?

Staff Europe, captained by Bjorn Borg, have gained all 5 earlier editions in opposition to Staff World, captained by John McEnroe.

Although the 2019 match noticed Staff Europe win 13-11, Europe routed Staff World 14-1 final yr and go into the match as huge favorites once more.

McEnroe is aware of he is underneath strain to carry out however says there could also be a window of alternative, with the likes of Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime in his line-up.

“Bjorn’s received a dream group, however you have received Roger saying his retirement, Andy struggling to get again to as wholesome as earlier than and Rafa’s spouse again at house anticipating a child, so that offers us some hope,” McEnroe informed the London Night Customary newspaper.

Laver Cup 101

Every day consists of 4 matches — three singles and one doubles — and every win earns one level on Friday, two factors on Saturday and three factors on Sunday. The primary group to 13 factors wins the competitors and if it is tied at 12-12, a deciding fifth match can be performed.

Every match is the perfect of three units, although the third set is a 10-point tiebreak.

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