Speaking to Australian reporters in Wimbledon, the former world no. 1 John Newcombe shared a funny thing that happened on the day Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal in a 2017 five-set Australian Open final. Newcombe saw Federer and Laver talking together just 60 minutes before the match between the Swiss and Rafael Nadal started.
"I just walked into the dressing room to say good luck to Roger and I said: 'What, is Rod giving you some last-minute tips on how to play left-handers?' Roger said 'No, actually we're discussing dinner' - and both of them are just completely relaxed and it's an hour before the match.
I said: 'What's with dinner?' Roger said: 'Well, at Indian Wells, they auctioned off for people to have dinner with Rod and me and we haven't been able to arrange it so we're talking about a date to try to get together with this person who bought it at auction.'
I said: 'Wow, I bet that got something reasonable for the dinner - 30 or 40 thousand?' And Roger said: 'No, as a matter of fact, four hundred thousand, and half of the money goes to my charity in Africa for the children, which is fantastic - but the best part of it is I get to have dinner with Rod Laver.'
Totally relaxed, an hour later, he goes out and wins this unbelievable five-setter against Rafa," said Newcombe. Federer then came back in 2018 to defend his Australian Open title defeating Marin Cilic in a five-set championship clash.