LONDON — It was a gathering of tennis’s biggest names sharing a black indoor hard court for Thursday’s Laver Cup doubles practice session. Among them are 66 Grand Slam titles, a group collectively known as the Big 4: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadalnet; Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
The team event, which was set up by his management company, marks the end of Federer’s career, with his final match on Friday night alongside longtime Team Europe rival Nadal at Francis Tierfour. and Jack Sock’s Team World Double Spare.
“I don’t know if I can do it all, but I’ll try,” the 41-year-old Federer said of his on-court farewell after 20 majors and 103 career titles. In almost a quarter of a century as a professional tennis player, he has won tournament titles and held his No. 1 position for hundreds of weeks.
“Here I am sitting,” Federer said at the team’s press conference on Thursday, with Nadal, 36, to his left and Djokovic, 35, and Murray a few seats back to his right. From everyone. It feels right.
Federer is nearing the end of his playing career after undergoing a series of surgeries on his right knee. He hasn’t played since his quarterfinal loss to Hubert Furkaz at Wimbledon in July 2021.
In February of this year, when rumors circulated that Federer was in London this week, he said Nadal had sent him a message and suggested they play doubles together again. We teamed up to win the doubles match at the Laver Cup.
“Before I went on tour, I saw him playing on TV. I saw him succeeding on TV. On the other hand, perhaps what we are very proud of is our friendly rivalry,” Nadal said Thursday. “Tomorrow is going to be special. It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be difficult to process everything. Especially for Roger, no doubt, but also for me. Finally, one of the most important players. For me. “An important player in my tennis career is leaving.”
They faced each other 40 times in singles (Nadal won 26), including 14 Grand Slam matchups (Nadal won 10). Nadal won his 2008 Wimbledon final, considered the greatest match of all time. Federer won the final showdown in the 2019 All England semi-finals with his club.
“To be a part of this historic moment,” Nadal said of Friday, “will be something amazing and unforgettable.”
The 24-year-old American, who defeated Nadal on the way to his first Grand Slam semifinal at this month’s US Open, said: “Oh, I’m so excited to face two up-and-comers tomorrow. .
Tiafoe added: “It’s going to be iconic to be a part of it. They’re both absolute legends. And obviously,[it’s]Roger’s last dance.” “
The full line-up for Day 1 of the three-day Laver Cup was announced on Thursday.
The singles match will feature the Sock and two-time 2022 Grand Slam finalists Casper Ruud of Europe, Team World’s Diego Schwartzman and 2021 French Open runners-up Stefanos Tsitsipas of Europe, Team Three majors with World’s Alex de Minaur. Champion Murray before the Federer-Nadal doubles match rounds out the schedule.
We all know what the main event will be: Say goodbye to Federer.
“For me, it feels right to see him and Rafa together on the same side of the net.
Roger Federer’s final match is the doubles against rival Rafael Nadal.
Source link Roger Federer’s final match is the doubles against rival Rafael Nadal.