Tennis star Roger Federer is getting his big farewell wish fulfilled: The Swiss will be allowed to compete in the doubles for Team Europe at the Laver Cup in London on Friday with his long-time rival Rafael Nadal of Spain, as had been hoped.
This is according to the published schedule. The duel with US-based Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in the night session will be the last official match of Federer’s unique career.
“Tomorrow night. My last match. Doubles with Rafael Nadal,” Federer wrote on Twitter, adding a muscle arm and a little red heart to his message. Nadal replied to his one-time rival just minutes later: “An honour and a true pleasure. “
Many high-class duels
Federer had wanted Nadal, with whom he has had many high-class duels over the years, as his doubles partner. It would be “a very special situation if it came to that”, the 41-year-old had said. Federer has 20 Grand Slam tournament victories, two less than the record holder Nadal. Last week, Federer announced his intention to end his career after the Laver Cup following three knee operations.
On Thursday, Federer and Nadal had already practised together on Centre Court in the London Arena. The world-class duo played against Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in front of around 10,000 spectators. The quartet, which had dominated world tennis for years, thrilled the fans, with Federer in particular receiving repeated ovations.
At the tournament in London, a European team will compete against a selection of players from the rest of the world from Friday to Sunday. Norwegian US Open finalist Casper Ruud will open the tournament against Sock, followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) and Diego Schwartzman (Argentina). Immediately before the doubles, British tennis star Andy Murray and Alex de Minaur from Australia will face each other.