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Roger Federer: 20-time grand slam champion set to play ‘special’ final match of career on Friday with Rafael Nadal


After quite a few shut battles in opposition to one another over time, Roger Federer will get to take pleasure in what he known as a “particular second” in partnering with Rafael Nadal for the ultimate match of his profession.

Federer, who will retire from tennis after this week’s Laver Cup, confirmed he would solely play one doubles match at London’s O2 Area on Friday – the final act of his lengthy, adorned profession.

And on Thursday, it was introduced the Swiss star would accomplice with Nadal, 18 years on from once they first confronted one another on the ATP Tour in Miami.

The pair have met 40 occasions over the course of their careers – together with 9 grand slam finals – and in addition performed collectively on the 2017 Laver Cup.

“For so long as we battled collectively, having all the time had this respect for each other – our households, our teaching groups – we all the time received alongside rather well,” Federer advised reporters on Wednesday when requested about the potential for taking part in alongside the Spaniard.

“To undergo the careers that we each have had, to come back out the opposite facet and with the ability to have a pleasant relationship, I believe, is possibly an amazing message as effectively – to not simply tennis, however sports activities past it.

“For that purpose, I believe it might be nice. I don’t know if it’s going to occur, however I believe it may very well be clearly a particular second.”

Federer and Nadal will face American pair Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe on the primary day of the Laver Cup on Friday.

Federer (left) and Nadal laugh together following a match in Shanghai in 2017.

Federer mentioned he needed to get hold of permission from Staff Europe captain Björn Borg and event organizers to play in only one doubles match on the Laver Cup this week.

The competitors sees groups from Europe and the remainder of the world go head-to-head in 9 singles and three doubles matches over the course of three days.

“Right here I’m making an attempt to organize for one final doubles,” mentioned Federer. “We’ll see who it’s with. I’m nervous moving into as a result of I haven’t performed in so lengthy. I hope I might be considerably aggressive.”

The 41-year-old has undergone a number of knee surgical procedures lately along with his final outing a straight-sets defeat in opposition to Hubert Hurkacz within the quarterfinals of Wimbledon final yr.

He mentioned he had nonetheless deliberate to make a return to the game subsequent yr as just lately as two months in the past earlier than arriving on the choice to retire.

Federer addresses the media in London ahead of the final match of his professional career.

“I simply needed to let the followers know I received’t be a ghost,” Federer mentioned when requested how he would stay concerned in tennis after retirement.

“I really feel that tennis has given me an excessive amount of, I’ve been across the sport for too lengthy, fallen in love with too many issues.

“I really like seeing individuals once more and that’s type of what I needed to let the followers know – that you just’ll see me once more … What it may very well be, in what capability, I don’t know. I nonetheless have to consider it a bit of bit and provides myself time.”

Among the many many accolades of his tennis profession, Federer received 103 singles titles and 20 grand slam titles – a tally second to solely Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21) within the males’s all-time record.

He turned the oldest ever world No. 1 on the age of 36 and in addition spent a report 237 consecutive weeks on the high of the world rankings between 2004 and 2008.

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