Roger Federer wants final 'beautiful moment' with Rafael Nadal at Laver Cup as legend targets doubles farewell
Roger Federer says that he hopes to play alongside Rafael Nadal in the doubles at the Laver Cup. The Swiss announced last week that he will not play in any further Grand Slams or on the ATP Tour after the Laver Cup, but told Barbara Schett in an exclusive interview for Eurosport that he wanted to bring the curtain down on his career alongside old rival Rafael Nadal.
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Roger Federer hopes for "one more beautiful moment” alongside Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup, telling Eurosport's Barbara Schett that he wants to line up alongside his great friend and rival in the doubles at the event.
Laver Cup rules say that every player should compete in at least one singles match during the first two days of play. That necessitated talks with Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg, tournament organisers and Borg's Team World counterpart, John McEnroe, to get the necessary approvals to allow Federer to bow out as he wished.
Nadal and Federer have played each other 40 times, with the Spaniard leading the head-to-head 26-14, having won 14 of the 24 finals they have contested.
In the same interview with Schett, Federer revealed one of those losses – the 2008 Wimbledon final – was his most heart-breaking.
The Swiss was a five-time defending champion at the All England Club, and faced Nadal in the final, having beaten him in the previous two finals at SW19.
It went to five sets and they played four hours and 48 minutes. The match also encompassed two rain delays, meaning that in totality their encounter ran past seven hours, ending in fading light with Nadal prevailing 6–4 6–4 6–7(5) 6–7(8) 9–7.
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“Probably Wimbledon 2008,” said Federer when asked to reveal his toughest loss.
“Just because the way it ended in the darkness with Rafa. There was so much on the line. It needed a winner. And it went his way. And it was heartbreak.”
In an earlier press conference, Federer reassured his fans that his retirement would not see him walk away from the sport entirely.
"I just want to let the fans know that I won’t be a ghost," Federer said ahead of the event.
"It’s funny, I talked about [Team Europe captain] Bjorn Borg before, and I don’t think he returned to Wimbledon for 25 years [after he retired].
"Totally acceptable - his life, his reasons. I don’t think I’ll be that guy.
"Tennis has given me too much, I’ve been around the game for too long, fallen in love with too many things.
"I love seeing people again and that is what I want to let the fans know - you will see me again. In what capacity, I don’t know. I still have to think about it a little bit."
‘I won’t be a ghost!’ – Federer tells tennis fans they’ll ‘see him again’ after retirement
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