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Roger Federer Aims To Partner Rafa Nadal in Laver Cup Farewell Match

No champion had the creative court vision of Roger Federer.

Fittingly, Federer envisions his final farewell to tennis as reunion revelry.

Meeting the media in London today for his first press conference since announcing his retirement, Federer announced his final match will be doubles—hopefully reuniting with rival Rafael Nadal—likely on Friday night at the O2 Arena.

The 41-year-old Swiss superstar said the ATP, Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg and Team World captain John McEnroe conferred and approved a plan that will permit Federer to play one doubles match before 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini steps in for the Swiss for the remainder of the Laver Cup weekend.

“I know my limitations. This is why I asked Bjorn if it was okay if I play maybe just one doubles, and I guess that one would have to be on Friday night,” Federer said. “Then I guess Matteo would come in for me and have to play on Saturday for me. Bjorn said obviously, Of course, that’s totally fine. Bjorn spoke to John, as well. They spoke to the tournament and the ATP if that was okay and everybody said that was fine.

“So here I am trying to prepare for one last doubles, and we’ll see with who it is. I’m obviously, I don’t know, I’m nervous going in because I haven’t played in so long. I hope I can be somewhat competitive.”

That Friday doubles match shapes up as a dream team reunion of Federer and rival and friend Nadal to share the stage one last time together.

Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Federer said “no doubt” he hopes to close the curtain on his brilliant career playing alongside 22-time major champion Nadal.

Two iconic champions who elevated the sport aligning again would also send a greater message of sport’s strength in uniting rivals for a greater good, Federer said.

“I think it could be quite, I don’t know, a unique situation, you know, that if it were to happen for as long as we battled together to having always this respect for one another, the families, our coaching teams, we always got along really well,” Federer said. “For us as well to go through a career that we both have had and to come out on the other side and being able to have a nice relationship I think is maybe a great message as well to not just tennis but sports and maybe even beyond.

“For that reason I think it would be great. I don’t know if it’s gonna happen, but I think it could be obviously a special moment. takes his final curtain call at Laver Cup.”

If it comes off it would mark Federer and Nadal’s first Laver Cup doubles match together since the pair prevailed in the inaugural Laver Cup in 2018 at Prague’s O2 Arena.

Parting can be painful. The former world No. 1 said closing the curtain on his glorious career surrounded by friends and fellow champions including captain Bjorn Borg and Nadal makes this exit feel emotionally easier.

“Having Bjorn Borg on the bench with me for my final game resonated also in a big way with me. Having all the other guys around just felt like I was not going to be lonely announcing my retirement,” Federer said. “Not that I wanted to hijack this event or anything, but just felt — I always feel sorry for players who sometimes retire on the tour, say, I’m going to play one more match, then at one point you lose and there you stand all alone.

“Obviously 99% of the time you will lose at one point because only one guy wins the tournament. I just felt like this works very well here. But I always wanted to keep the integrity of the event alive. That’s why I had a lot of conversations with everybody. I’m really looking forward to these next few days. It’s going to be very special.”