Roger Federer: 20-time Grand Slam champion will play last “special” career match on Friday with Rafael Nadal

And on Thursday it was announced that the Swiss star would be teaming up with Nadal, 18 years after they first met on the Miami ATP Tour.

The two have met 40 times over the course of their careers, including nine Grand Slam finals, and have also played together in the 2017 Laver Cup.

“For as long as we fought together, having always had this mutual respect – our families, our coaching teams – we always got along very well,” Federer told reporters Wednesday when asked about the possibility. to play alongside the Spaniard.

“Going through the careers we’ve both had, going out on the other side and being able to have a good relationship, I think, is perhaps also a great message, not only for tennis, but also for sports beyond.

“For that reason, I think it would be great. I don’t know if it will happen, but I think it could obviously be a special moment.”

Nadal said at a press conference on Thursday that he was “super excited” for Friday’s doubles match.

“After all the amazing things we share together on and off the pitch, [to] be part of this historical moment, it will be something yes, fantastic and unforgettable for me “, said Nadal,” and yes, super excited, I hope I can have a good response time, play at a decent level and hope that together we can create a good time and maybe win a game “.

Federer and Nadal will face American duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe on the first day of the Laver Cup on Friday.
Federer (left) and Nadal laugh together after a game in Shanghai in 2017.

Federer said he had to get permission from Team Europe captain Björn Borg and tournament organizers to play in a single doubles match at the Laver Cup this week.

The competition sees teams from Europe and the rest of the world face off in nine singles and three doubles matches over the course of three days.

“I’m trying to prepare myself for one final double here,” Federer said Wednesday. “I’m nervous at the entrance because I haven’t played for so long. I hope I can be a little competitive.”

The 41-year-old has undergone several knee surgeries in recent years with his latest outing a two-set defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year.

He said he still had plans to return to the sport next year just two months ago before coming to the decision to retire.

Federer turns to the media in London ahead of the last game of his professional career.

“I just wanted to let the fans know that I won’t be a ghost,” Federer said when asked how he would get involved in tennis after retirement.

“I feel like tennis has given me too much, I’ve been around the game for too long, I’ve fallen in love with too many things.

“I love seeing people again and that’s what I wanted the fans to know – that you’ll see me again … what it could be, in what capacity, I don’t know. I still have to think about it and give myself time.”

Among the many accolades of his tennis career, Federer has won 103 singles titles and 20 Grand Slam titles, a tally second only to Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21) on the all-time men’s list.

It became the oldest n. 1 at the age of 36 and also spent a record 237 consecutive weeks at the top of the world rankings between 2004 and 2008.