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

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LONDON — After 24 years on Tour, with 20 Grand Slam titles and 103 match wins worldwide to his title, Roger Federer will play his ultimate skilled match on Friday evening, when he companions along with his previous 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 shall be Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — the primary time the Massive 4 have all performed on the Laver Cup on the identical time. Here is what you will need to know as we prepare for Federer’s ultimate 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 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, mentioned on Thursday he was trying ahead to taking part in with Nadal, a person whom he met on 40 events, together with 9 Grand Slam finals.

“In fact it is super-special taking part in with Rafa,” Federer mentioned. “It feels actually completely different. Strolling out on courtroom and having the prospect to play with the likes of Rafa or Novak prior to now has been a tremendous expertise for me. To have the ability to try this yet another time, I am positive it’ll be great. I will attempt my highest. I hope to be good on the market. In fact I’ll get pleasure from it, however will probably be exhausting.”

Nadal mentioned he cannot wait.

“In spite of everything we shared collectively on and off the courtroom, to be a part of this historic second goes to be one thing wonderful, unforgettable for me,” he mentioned.

The Massive 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 mentioned having them on his aspect was a pleasant change.

“I’m tremendous excited to have them on our workforce, my workforce and never having to play towards them, in my final match,” he mentioned.

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

“I feel the environment goes to be unimaginable,” he mentioned, “Taking part in within the evening session earlier than Roger and Rafa goes to be actually particular.”

Can Crew World break by way of?

Crew Europe, captained by Bjorn Borg, have gained 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 yr and go into the match as large favorites once more.

McEnroe is aware of he is below stress 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 workforce, however you’ve got 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 provides us some hope,” McEnroe informed 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 workforce to 13 factors wins the competitors and if it is tied at 12-12, a deciding fifth match shall be performed.

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

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