Ahead of the Laver Cup's commencement on Friday, 2022 US Open runners-up Casper Ruud declined a dinner invitation from Roger Federer to members of Team Europe. He had a prior appointment with former World No. 7 Barbara Schett for a podcast episode.
Ruud revealed that he was added to the WhatsApp group for the Laver Cup by Roger Federer and expressed his excitement at finally getting the Swiss great's telephone number.
"As we are in the Laver Cup, we have a group chat on WhatsApp with the team," Ruud said to Barbara Schett for Eurosport. "[So] I finally got Roger's phone number! "It took some time but I have it now, so that was nice to get a message. He wrote us all a message welcoming us.
"You should feel honoured, actually. "[Federer] asked us out for dinner, the team-mates, today at nine, and I said 'I would love to, but I have a podcast with Barbara!' "I have dinner with them tomorrow and the day after, so I prioritised you this time, Barbara," he added.
Casper Ruud has faced Roger Federer only once in his career - in the third round of the 2019 French Open, with Federer winning in straight sets. Ruud finished as the runner-up at Roland Garros earlier this year but could not cross the final hurdle against his idol, Rafael Nadal, and lost in straight sets.
Casper Ruud defeated Jack Sock 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 to win the first match for Team Europe against Team World in the ongoing Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in London on Friday.
"This match feels a whole lot different; playing with Rafa feels really different" - Roger Federer
Roger Federer played his last professional tennis match on Friday night, partnering with friend and rival Rafael Nadal for a doubles match against Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
Ahead of the encounter, Federer and Nadal gave their thoughts on the momentous occasion, with both players revelling in the opportunity for one last dance as a team.
“I am not sure if I will be able to handle it all but I will try,” Federer said during Team Europe’s post-tournament press conference. “I’ve had some tough moments in the past, being horribly nervous. All these years. This match feels a whole lot different. Playing with Rafa feels really different.”
“To be part of this historic moment is amazing and unforgettable for me,” Nadal said during the press conference. “I am super excited and I hope I can play at a good level. Hopefully, together we can create a good moment and hopefully win a match.”
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