"When Roger Federer is in the stands, it’s extra special" - Casper Ruud
Casper Ruud recently revealed how playing in front of Roger Federer motivated him to win his singles match against Tommy Paul at the 2023 Laver Cup.
Ruud defeated Paul 7-6 (6), 6-2 to give Team Europe their first points of the tournament after a dismal start on Friday, September 22.
Defending champions Team World have put up a strong challenge against Team Europe this year, winning all four matches on the opening day to take a 4-0 lead. Team World also kept the momentum going with Taylor Fritz's straight-set victory over Andrey Rublev at the start of day two.
In an on-court interview after his victory over Paul, Ruud said that he was thrilled to have the Swiss’ support during the match.
“When Roger is in the stands, it’s extra special. You want to deliver. You want to play well. I tried to learn from last year. It wasn’t easy. I was like a kid in a candy store being around the four greatest players ever,” Ruud said.
However, Team World immediately bounced back with a win in the third singles match as Frances Tiafoe defeated Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, giving Team World an 8-2 lead.
"I don't think right away, but I am absolutely open to the thought" - Roger Federer on Team Europe's captainship
Roger Federer recently talked about the chance of becoming Team Europe’s captain at the Laver Cup. The Swiss legend said he was interested, but he also said it might not be the right time yet, leaving the possibility open for later.
On Friday (September 22), the current leader of Team Europe, Bjorn Borg, asked the 20-time Grand Slam champion if he sees himself as the future captain of the team.
"Yes, I mean, why not? One day. I don't think right away, but I am absolutely open to the thought and the idea to have great captains, assistant captains or also co-captains, whatever you want to call it. But, just want to give back to the game in any type of form and, of course, being a captain of the Laver Cup would be definitely one of those things," Federer replied.
The 42-year-old then expressed his fondness for Borg and said he was glad to have him around, recalling the precious memories they had made in the past.
"That position is so locked by you forever and I don't call you a king for any reason because you are the best. Bjorn I have loved my years with you as team captain, spent time with you have been incredible, just to let you know, I love you Bjorn, Its great to see you again here this week so thank you again for being here," he said.
Roger Federer's last match as a professional tennis player was in the 2022 Laver Cup doubles tournament, where he partnered with his longtime rival Rafael Nadal.