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

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LONDON — After 24 years on Tour, with 20 Grand Slam titles and 103 event wins worldwide to his identify, Roger Federer will play his closing skilled match on Friday night time, when he companions together with his outdated rival Rafael Nadal within the doubles on the sixth version of the Laver Cup.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 towards one another. Alongside Federer and Nadal on Crew Europe might 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 may wish 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 nearly 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 received 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 taking part in with Nadal, a person whom he met on 40 events, together with 9 Grand Slam finals.

“After all it is super-special taking part in with Rafa,” Federer stated. “It feels actually completely different. Strolling out on court docket and having the possibility to play with the likes of Rafa or Novak previously has been an incredible expertise for me. To have the ability to try this yet one more time, I am certain it’ll be great. I am going to strive my best. I hope to be good on the market. After all I’ll get pleasure from it, however it will likely be laborious.”

Nadal stated he cannot wait.

“In spite of everything 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 received 66 Grand Slam titles and 329 tournaments amongst them, and performed out quite a few Grand Slam finals.

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

“I’m tremendous excited to have them on our staff, my staff and never having to play towards 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 environment goes to be unimaginable,” he stated, “Enjoying within the night time session earlier than Roger and Rafa goes to be actually particular.”

Can Crew World break via?

Crew Europe, captained by Bjorn Borg, have received all 5 earlier editions towards Crew World, captained by John McEnroe.

Although the 2019 match noticed Crew Europe win 13-11, Europe routed Crew World 14-1 final 12 months and go into the match as massive favorites once more.

McEnroe is aware of he is beneath 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 staff, 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 residence anticipating a child, so that offers us some hope,” McEnroe instructed the London Night Commonplace 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 staff to 13 factors wins the competitors and if it is tied at 12-12, a deciding fifth match might be performed.

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

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