Roger Federer: 'If I could go back, I'd have liked to play Bjorn Borg'- View: 8641 by Gatto Luigi
After enjoying a consistent period of holidays, Roger Federer will be back to practice in order to get ready for the first year of Laver Cup that will be played at the O2 Arena in Prague from 22 to 24 September 2017.
The Swiss player is the founder of the event along with his manager Tony Godsick, and he will be honoured to have the Swedish Bjorn Borg as the Team Europe captain. 'For me to spend time with Bjorn, it's quite rare', Federer said in New York during a conference call.
'He doesn't spend so much time on the tour. When he shows up, it's short. I feel every minute you get with him is a privilege. Here we are, he's going to be stuck with us. So it's going, I think, to be very special for all of us, particularly me.
I mean, I have incredible respect for him. I feel like if I could play one player ever going back, I feel like it would be Bjorn. I feel he's that incredibly good, for what he did for the game. If I look how he played, what he brought to it, it's crazy.
So okay, enough of Bjorn. But Rafa [Nadal], he's been such a wonderful champion and a good friend of mine on the tour, one of my big rivals for life, that it's just nice to be able to spend some time with him and support him.
If I can help him, great. If he can help me, even better. Finally, after all these years, I get a chance to actually support his forehand, his aggressive play, his everything, his fighting spirit. Everything before was always like, ahh, another forehand and another fighter.
At the same time we have all the younger guys on the team who we're going to hopefully support, as well, come up with hopefully a winning game plan. I'm happy that all the tickets sold out. I played in that arena years ago in the Davis Cup.
It's a wonderful arena. I'm sure it's going to be really successful. I can't wait for it to come around soon enough.' In February Federer called it a 'tough event', because he and other players want to perform at their best in order to make sure that fans get their best experience: 'I feel the likes of Rod Laver and other legends of the game have marked our sport in such a big way and it should never be forgotten.
Rocket himself has been really one of the biggest personalities we have had in our sport. I've gotten to know Rod over the years. He's a lovely man and he's been incredibly supportive of our generation of players, too.
He always comes and watches us play. That's when the idea came about to sort of pay tribute to the likes of Rod Laver and then also the present and also the future coming through. I think getting all the generations together I think is a wonderful thing.
And playing in honor of the great Rod Laver at the Laver Cup now is only 30 days away, basically. It's really exciting, because I have been talking about this event with Tony and my team and my friends for almost three years now.
It's upon us now, and it's incredibly exciting, announcing the teams here and seeing who the captains are and Björn Borg and John McEnroe. You can imagine, it's like a fairy tale to see it all come together.' ALSO READ: John McEnroe: 'There is only one Roger Federer' .