Novak Djokovic has paid tribute to his old rival, Roger Federer, ahead of the legendary player bidding farewell to competitive tennis on Friday.
Federer has been confirmed as partnering with another of his great rivals and friends, Rafael Nadal, in the doubles rubber on the opening night of the Laver Cup.
The 41-year-old is to bow out from the sport after the event at the O2 Arena in London and Friday's doubles match against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe of Team World will be his farewell match.
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Asked if it felt like the end of an era with Federer retiring, Djokovic told Eurosport: "It does feel like it. It is a sad moment for tennis and sport, in general, to have to say goodbye to one of the greats.
"The way he went about his business, on and off the court, has secured him a huge deal of popularity around the world. He has deserved that because he has been so perfect, on and off the court - with his results and career, but also with his personality.
"He has gathered a lot of sympathy with sports fans around the world and his greatness will live forever."
On the unique and special atmosphere generated between the rivals at the Laver Cup, Djokovic highlighted what made all the difference for the big names of men's tennis.

Exclusive: 'The best locker room moments, the funniest!' - Djokovic on banter at Laver Cup

"We had the best locker room moments, the funniest ones, at the Laver Cup. Just the conversations that we normally don't have on the tour because we are rivals. We don't normally hang out together as we all have our teams and our families that we stick to, which is normal and logical," he said.

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"But the Laver Cup is a unique competition where you get to be team-mates and you get to support each other and experience each other in a different way.
"So it was actually a very funny dinner last night with Team Europe and we had a lot of laughs. I'm just trying to enjoy every moment at the Laver Cup and every moment is really precious for me."

Exclusive: 'I won't put myself in!' - Djokovic builds perfect tennis player from the Big Four

Asked to design his perfect player from the original 'Big Four' and their unique attributes, Djokovic found a way of including Federer, Nadal and Andy Murray.
"Okay, so Rafa's strength and physical and mental strength. I would take Roger's serve and forehand, and I would take Andy Murray's defence and return. I won't put myself in the mix, but I think that kind of player is already pretty good!"
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