All-time tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are set to team up as doubles partners for the inaugural Laver Cup which is going to be played next year. The Laver Cup’s format is pretty much similar to the Ryder Cup played amongst golfers; a European team will face a Rest of the World team. It is scheduled to be played in September 2017.
The tournament is named after the Legendary Australian player Rod Laver, who is considered to be one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Meanwhile, former rivals John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg have been named as the captains of the World Team and the European Team respectively.
Roger Federer is one of the greatest players the game has ever produced in the open era and holds the record for winning the highest number of grand slams at 17. In his interview with the Washington Post, the Swiss Maestro said that he was excited about the new venture. “I think it’s going to be absolutely unbelievable — to be on the same side of the net as Rafa finally is a great feeling. I was facing the big forehand and now I can actually support it, and tell him to hit one more and actually get joy out of it,” he said.
Rafael Nadal is also a player trying hard to get back his form after missing out several tournaments in the past few years due to injuries. His decent run at the Olympics came to an end when Argentine Juan Martin del Potro got the better of him in the semi-finals, and he also missed out on a Bronze Medal after losing to Japan’s Kei Nishikori. However, he did win the gold medal in doubles partnering Marc Lopez, much to the delight of Spanish fans.
The Spaniard has 14 Grand Slams to his name and said that it will be very special for him play alongside his long-time rival Roger Federer.
“It’s gonna be very special to be on a team with Roger. We have been like rivals for all of our careers, so to be on the same team, and even play some doubles together, will be something very special and I’m very excited about it” said Nadal.
With the majority of the top-ranked players hailing from Europe, it is obvious that the continental team is going to have a big advantage in the Laver Cup. The only non-European players in the Top 15 of the ATP Rankings are Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori.