Roger Federer should repress the clay after two years without playing on this surface. The 39-year-old Swiss registered for the tournament in Madrid (May 3-9), organizers announced on Tuesday. After more than a year of absence and two knee operations, the former world No.
1 returned to competition in March in Doha for elimination in the quarterfinals. He then announced that he would surely return to ocher, to chain matches and gain strength with Wimbledon as a goal. "The important thing is to play matches," he explained the week of his return.
And what happens before the grass season is the clay season. From this point of view, if I want to play matches, I have no choice but to play on clay." Federer's last match on clay was on June 7, 2019 and his semi-final (lost) against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.
He had then played two tournaments before the Parisian Grand Slam: Madrid and Rome. In Spain, he could find Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, also registered even if doubts remain about the Serbian's program. The three tennis mastodons have not played a joint tournament since the 2020 Australian Open.
Laver Cup is the brainchild of Roger Federer’s management firm, TEAM8, and pits Team Europe against Team World. As the name suggests, players from across the globe play against players from Europe. Thus, the unique tournament has seen top names battle in the same team and against each other.
Nick Kyrgios has been part of the Laver Cup since its inception, and in 2019, played a brilliant match against Roger Federer.
Rafael Nadal helps Roger Federer in Laver Cup 2019
“The crowd was insane this day,” wrote Nick Kyrgios.
2019 Laver Cup also saw some bonding between ‘Fedal’. Nadal gave some useful tips to Federer to defeat Kyrgios. At one point, Roger Federer was 7-6, 5-4 down in the match against Kyrgios, but after Nadal’s coaching, Federer came back to win the second set and then the match.
“After five shots [in the rally], you are winning more [points] than him. I know it’s difficult because he reads the ball so well… Wait for the right one and then attack because he’s not missing,” Nadal said.
The 2019 Laver Cup was the closest ever. Team Europe had won the last two editions, but in 2019, Team World clearly had an upper hand. Federer’s match against Kyrgios came on the second day when Team Europe was behind. The second day ended with Team Europe leading 7-5.
But the third day started off awfully for Team Europe. They lost the first two matches and thus found themselves 11-7 behind. But Roger Federer had other ideas and first defeated John Isner to cut Team World’s lead to 11-9. Later, Federer, alongside Nadal, inspired Alexander Zverev to defeat Milos Raonic in tough three sets.