As hoped, even dreamed, Roger Federer will play the last match of his career on Friday with Rafael Nadal, not as an opponent but as a doubles teammate on the first day of the Laver Cup, the organizers announced Thursday.
The two great rivals of the last fifteen years will be side by side to represent the European team against the American pair composed of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe who will represent the World team.
The 41-year-old Swiss, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, will play his last match at the O2 Arena in London in the evening before ending one of the most prestigious careers in all sports.
Federer and Nadal wrote in 40 clashes (24 victory to 16 for the Spaniard), some of them legendary, the most exciting soap opera in the history of tennis.
But Federer, whose right knee injury has become insurmountable, announced last week that he would end his career at the end of the Laver Cup, an exhibition which he initiated and which opposes a team Europe, under the captaincy of Björn Borg, to a World team, under the captaincy of John McEnroe.
“I’m preparing for a last double”, he had announced on Wednesday, while his partner was not yet formalized.
“I’m obviously nervous not having played for so long, I hope to be competitive”he admitted, after a year and a half away from the courts trying to heal his knee.