A legendary double to end a career that was just as legendary. As hoped, even dreamed, Roger Federer will play his final match on Friday with Rafael Nadal, not as an opponent, but as a doubles teammate on the first day of the Laver Cup. The two great rivals of the past 15 years will be side by side to represent Team Europe against the American pair of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe who will represent Team World.
Tomorrow night. My last game. Doubles with @Rafael Nadal ❤️ https://t.co/7yPwmtvTiJ
—Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 22, 2022
The 41-year-old Swiss, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, will play his last match at the O2 Arena in London in the evening before ending one of the most prestigious careers in all sports.
“A historic and unforgettable moment” for Nadal
In a press conference, Rafael Nadal estimated that playing one last time with Roger Federer, one of his greatest rivals, will be “a historic moment” and “unforgettable”. “I’m super excited and I hope we’ll have a good time and win the game, we’ll see. I hope the crowd will support us a lot,” slipped the Spaniard who let the emotion show. which already inhabits it before the farewell to its rival.
An honor and a real pleasure @Roger Federerhttps://t.co/HMVnl1Iu9b
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) September 22, 2022
“It will be a different kind of pressure, after all the great times we shared on and off the pitch,” he admitted. “Tomorrow (Friday) will be a special moment, but (it will be) also difficult to manage everything, especially for him, there is no doubt, but for me too”, continued the Mallorcan. “He’s one of, if not the most important player in my career, and I’m very grateful to be able to play with him,” he said.
Federer-Nadal, one of the most exciting soap operas in the history of tennis
Federer and Nadal wrote in 40 clashes (24 victory to 16 for the Spaniard), some of them legendary, the most exciting soap opera in the history of tennis. But Federer, whose right knee injury has become insurmountable, announced last week that he would end his career at the end of the Laver Cup, an exhibition which he initiated and which opposes a team Europe, under the captaincy of Björn Borg, to a World team, under the captaincy of John McEnroe.
“I’m preparing for a last double”, announced the Swiss player on Wednesday, while his partner was not yet official. “I’m obviously nervous not having played for so long, I hope to be competitive,” he admitted, after a year and a half away from the courts trying to treat his knee.