Ever since Roger Federer confirmed his retirement after Laver Cup, fans are speculating about his final opponents. Earlier this week, his fitness instructor stated that it is impossible for him to play in the singles, and thus his final appearance will come in the doubles event.
The 20-time grand slam winner has teased up on the possibility of pairing up with his long-time friend and arch-rival Rafael Nadal for Team Europe. Federer said it would be an “absolute dream” to play the doubles event with Nadal, on Friday.
Finishing his illustrious career alongside Nadal would be quite poetic for Federer, as both of them met for the first time in a doubles clash at Indian Wells in 2004. The duo of Nadal and Tommy Robredo defeated Federer and Yves Allegro to advance to the quarter-final. Two days later, Nadal defeated Federer in straight sets in just over an hour to set off what is now easily the greatest rivalry in Tennis.
In the inaugural edition of the tournament five years ago, Nadal and Federer teamed up for the first time, and they defeated Jack Sock and Sam Querry.
The Laver Cup is backed by the Swiss himself, and it has become an annual event in the ATP calendar, where Team Europe takes on the players from the rest of the world. Federer was seen training with the Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas on Monday, in the presence of the legendary Bjorn Borg.
“I am quite surprised how well I am playing in practice here. But it was already clear beforehand that I would only play doubles, probably on Friday evening. That’s why playing the Swiss Indoors in Basel was no longer an option,” said Federer.
He has not played a game since the last year’s Wimbledon, where his journey ended in a quarter-final after a crushing loss to Hurbert Hurkacz. He described the last set of the game as “one of the worst hours of his career.” He also missed the last year’s Laver Cup due to injury.
The Laver Cup, set to be played at O2 Arena in London, begins on 23 September, and the final will be played on 25 September.
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