Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will steal the headlines on Friday night while stepping on the court at London's O2 Arena. Federer will play his last match in his career at the Laver Cup, and he wished Rafael Nadal to be his doubles partner.
The Spaniard felt honored, saying he could not wait to share the court with his great rival for the last time. Roger has been struggling with a knee injury for the last couple of years, not feeling well already in 2019 and stopping after the 2020 Australian Open.
Federer underwent the first knee surgery after Melbourne and missed the rest of the season after the second surgery. Roger returned to action in March 2021, playing in Doha and Geneva before scoring three victories at Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal feels honored to share the court with Roger Federer this week.
The Swiss withdrew before the fourth round to preserve his knee for his beloved grass swing. Still, the pain bothered him, and things did not look bright for the 20-time Major winner.
Federer failed to reach the Halle quarter-final for the first time in his career and headed to Wimbledon with low hopes. The Swiss stopped the clock at the All England Club and defeated four rivals to become the oldest Wimbledon quarter-finalist in the Open era!
Roger faced Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight and experienced a 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 loss in an hour and 48 minutes. It was Roger's first bagel since the 2008 Roland Garros final, and he felt terrible on the court in that third set.
The Swiss underwent the third surgery a few weeks later, hoping to recover and play injury-free in 2022. That was impossible, and the grand champion decided to finish his career at the Laver Cup. Federer will play only one match in London, and he picked Rafael Nadal as his doubles partner.
Thus, Federer and Nadal will share the same side of the court for the second time after doing the same at the 2017 Laver Cup in Prague. Five years ago, two great champions met Jack Sock and Sam Querrey and prevailed 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 on a historic night.
Roger and Rafa claimed the opener with a single break and lost the ground in the second. The American broke them twice, and the Europeans had to start all over in the match tie break. Federer and Nadal built a massive advantage and sealed the deal at 9-5 to celebrate a memorable victory.