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The news that many had speculated about has finally been confirmed. Following Federer’s Laver Cup press conference on Wednesday, fans were ecstatic to learn that the Swiss Maestro wanted to play doubles with Nadal. And it would seem that his wish has been granted by the captain of Team Europe, Bjorn Borg. We officially have confirmation that it will be Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the doubles for Team Europe on Friday night.
As for their opponents from Team World, these two legends will be facing off against Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock. This is actually a pretty solid duo, and it won’t be an easy match for Federer or Nadal. Jack Sock is an epic doubles player, and Frances Tiafoe is one of the most talented guys on tour. This was displayed when he actually beat Nadal at the US Open just a few weeks ago.
Also being played on Friday for the night session, we have Andy Murray playing Alex de Minaur in singles. So as it happens, those with night session tickets will get to watch three out of the big four in one sitting. However, it’s fair to say that the doubles match that put an end to Federer’s illustrious career is undoubtedly the highlight.
And now, I’d like to pay a fitting tribute to Roger Federer by sharing my own thoughts on why he wanted to wrap things up with Nadal at his side.
The Final Curtain – Nadal and Federer for One Last Hoorah
As entertaining as this match promises to be, I have no doubts that there will be an unusual feeling inside the O2 Arena on Friday night. And let’s be honest – the outcome of the match is probably the last thing on everyone’s mind. I for one am content with seeing the great man take to the court for one last time, and here is why I believe he chose Nadal to end it with.
The Rivalry Shared Between the Two
Federer stated in his Laver Cup press conference that he considers Nadal as his biggest rival in tennis. Or perhaps I should be stating that in the past tense these days? Either way, it is staggering that these guys have played each other 40 times on the ATP Tour. That’s just one match shy of the actual age of Roger Federer at 41! The two have shared the biggest stages in our sport for more than two decades.
They have each felt elation, and they have each felt despair across the net from one another. But regardless of which guy you favor, we can all appreciate the unbelievable tennis and matches they have produced.
The Friendship Built Over 20+ Years
It’s not just the rivalry that Federer and Nadal have had in their career – it’s the friendship and respect that has blossomed as a result that makes this a special relationship. For me, it’s obvious that they are both extremely fond of each other. And dare I say it, it’s almost like a bit of a brotherhood when you see them interact.
So the doubles match on Friday will no doubt bring this friendship into the spotlight for one final time.