Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will play together in doubles match at the Laver Cup on Friday night at London’s O2; “You always want to play forever, but I know everybody has to leave the game,” says Federer as he prepares for retirement
Roger Federer will play the final match of his career partnering Rafael Nadal in doubles at the Laver Cup.
Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg granted his wish to compete alongside his oldest and greatest rival, after the 20-time Grand Slam champion said playing with Nadal would be “the most beautiful thing”.
Roger Federer, the 20-time major winner and Nadal, a 22-time major winner, will face Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock of Team World at London’s O2 on Friday night at around 9pm.
Earlier Andy Murray, making his debut at the Ryder Cup-style event, will take on Australia’s Alex De Minaur.
He says he has “fallen in love with too many things” to walk away from tennis, with the 41-year-old vowing to stay involved in some capacity and not become a “ghost”.
Federer, whose most recent competitive match was a loss to Hubert Hurkacz in last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals, has been struggling with a knee problem.
“It was about time that I retired. I think a moment like this doesn’t come overnight. It was a process – an emotional one – which at the end I thought we managed well, with the family, the team, my closest friends,” said Federer.
“It all worked out and here we are now at the Laver Cup. But it was definitely more a highly unusual last few weeks for me.”
Speaking at a packed press conference at the O2, the 41-year-old explained he had plans to stay involved in tennis in the future, saying: “I just wanted to let the fans know I won’t be a ghost.
“I talked about (Europe captain) Bjorn Borg. I don’t think he returned to Wimbledon for 25 years. I don’t think I’ll be that guy and I feel tennis has given me too much. I have been around the game for too long. Have fallen in love with too many things.
“I love seeing people again, and that’s kind of what I wanted to let the fans know that you’ll see me again. Not just never again. Now what it could be, in what capacity, I don’t know. So I still have to think about it a little bit but give myself time.”