Roger Federer's best Laver Cup moments: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic doubles, 'Fedal' bromance, Nick Kyrgios matches
Roger Federer is set to retire after the Laver Cup. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has had some memorable moments at the event with Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic. Federer, who helped create the Laver Cup, will be part of Team Europe along with Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray. We take a look at some of his highlights from playing at the Laver Cup.
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It will be the fourth time Federer has played the Laver Cup, which he helped create. He has won the most singles points in the event’s history (15) and is level with Alexander Zverev for most total points won (18). Federer has also been the central figure in some of the most memorable moments in the competition’s short history…
'Fedal' bromance blossoms
Seeing the 'Fedal' bromance close up is peak Laver Cup.
Whether it’s watching matches together, playing matches together or celebrating together, Federer and Nadal have hardly been apart when they have both played the Laver Cup. One of the standout pictures of the Laver Cup so far is Nadal jumping into Federer’s arms after he had beaten Nick Kyrgios to clinch overall victory in 2017.
The chemistry between the two legends is real and for the audience it has been fascinating to watch them talk tactics and give each other advice.
When they last played together in 2019, Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg was a bystander as Federer gave Nadal tips on how to beat Milos Raonic, which he finished with a light chuckle and a slap on the arm as he told Nadal to slice more “like in the old days”.
There was also the time when Nadal dug into some mid-match stats to try and help Federer get the better of Kyrgios.
“I really enjoy the clarity in his advice,” said Federer. “What I really enjoy with Rafa is just that we very often align, our ideas align. And obviously when it comes to rally points, he's excellent. He knows how much is enough and how much is too much. He's a great problem and solution-finder.”
The Laver Cup has provided a unique opportunity for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic to play doubles together.
Nadal and Federer teamed up for the first time at the 2017 Laver Cup when they beat Sam Querrey and Jack Sock in a close match.
Nadal called the experience "unforgettable”. "To have the possibility to have Roger next to me is a huge privilege…something I wanted to make happen at some point and today I made it happen."
Federer said it was "something very special".
A year later Federer teamed up with Djokovic for the first time against Kevin Anderson and Sock.
Djokovic and Federer play doubles for Europe - Laver Cup 2018 highlights
While they don't appear to have the same friendly relationship as Federer and Nadal, there was a hilarious moment when Djokovic hit his team-mate with a ball. Djokovic put his hand to his mouth in shock and told Federer at the change of ends that his “heart stopped for like three seconds” after the incident, which left both players laughing.
"It was a lot of fun,” Djokovic said. “I want to thank Roger for playing with me.”
Asked afterwards for his highlight from that year’s Laver Cup, Federer said: “Spending time with Novak. I said at the beginning that we have had an intense rivalry, I always thought we got along well and respected each other on and off the court, but being able to support him, him supporting me, going through that process, talking tactics, and seeing what a leader he can be, it has been really nice and refreshing for me.”
Federer v Kyrgios rivalry
Nick Kyrgios isn’t playing the Laver Cup this week, but he has played his part in some of the most memorable moments in the event’s history.
The inaugural edition of the tournament in Prague saw Team World fight back on day three and give themselves a shot heading into the final match.
A win for Kyrgios against Federer would set up a one-set, winner-takes-all doubles decider.
It looked like the Australian would do it, but Federer came from a set down and saved a match point to clinch a 4-6 7-6(6) 11-9 win that secured the first-ever Laver Cup.
Roger Federer et Nick Kyrgios lors de la Laver Cup
Image credit: Getty Images
Federer and Kyrgios met again in 2019 and it wasn’t far behind 2017 in terms of quality and drama.
Federer beat Kyrgios 6-7(5) 7-5 10-7 in an electric clash that saw the Australian try to pull off the SABR (Sneak Attack By Roger), and Team World captain John McEnroe tell Kyrgios “you’re in his head!”.
Kyrgios says he thinks the 2017 match between the pair “set the tone” for the Laver Cup.
“That was a match that to this day people talk about to me and it was a monumental match. I feel like that really set the tone for any Laver Cup that goes ahead with or without me or with or without Roger, for many years to come.”
Dishing out some advice
Fabio Fognini has at times been a combustible character during his career, but even he had to listen to some straight-talking advice from Federer at the 2019 Laver Cup.
“I want no more negativity, I want you to be only positive,” Federer firmly told the Italian.
“Believe in the good things. You cannot be frustrated and think that something bad is going to happen. Make him hit a great shot.”
‘Keep the points under five shots!’ - The time Nadal coached Federer at Laver Cup
Fognini didn’t win the match but he pushed Sock to a tie-break in the second set after losing the first set 1-6.
Federer has also advised Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas on their doubles tactics and gave Alexander Zverev some singles tips which appeared to be eagerly taken on board in 2017.
Federer has also been on the receiving end, such as when Nadal checked the stats during his match against Kyrgios in 2019 and informed him he was winning more points when rallies went over five shots.
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