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Roger Federer Talks About The Laver Cup • The Vibes Linger On In London Where He Had His Launch Party • Oh, And Where He Won Wimbledon Again

By Richard Pagliaro


LONDON—The ATP World Tour Finals is an O2 reunion for Roger Federer—and his friends on speed dial.


The 19-time Grand Slam champion resides in Group Boris Becker alongside Jack Sock, Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev.


All four players competed in the inaugural Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in Prague and Federer said today that experience has fostered camaraderie among competitors.


“I do feel like the Laver Cup has made us get to know each other a bit better,” Federer told the media after his 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over Sock. “I mean, we have each other’s telephone numbers now, all of us. That wasn’t the case beforehand. We anyway knew we’d see each other all the time, so it’s nice to kind of be able to connect if you wanted to with the guys.


“I felt like at the ATP ceremony and the official presentation, I did feel a sort of camaraderie, cool rivalry, but yet friendship going on, which I think is nice to see. We are all together on the boat. We’re all hanging out, all talking to each other. I’m not sure if that was always the case in previous years.”


Federer, Cilic and Zverev all played on the victorious Team Europe under captain Bjorn Borg, while Sock played for the Team World captained by John McEnroe.


The week spent together have created a sense of familiarity among teammates, Federer said.


“It’s not that we didn’t get along, but we didn’t know each other that well, to be quite frank. I see good things being carried over by the Laver Cup without forgetting at the end of the day we are rivals, as well, you know.”


This morning’s boat ride to the O2 Arena was filled with players, their families, coaches and stringers.


Rafa Nadal sat in the middle row, a couple of rows in front of coach Carlos Moya. Uncle Toni Nadal occupied the window seat to Rafa’s right.


On the opposite side of the boat, Pablo Carreno Busta, the singles alternate in London, and his family chatted near the front of the boat. A few rows behind them sat David Goffin and his team.


About 25 fans were waiting behind the rails when the boat arrived at the O2 Arena with some waving “Vamos Rafa!” signs. Goffin graciously stopped to sign autographs and take photos with every fan who asked while wind whipped off the river before heading into the arena.

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