‘It will be difficult to handle’ – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer brace for emotional match
Rafael Nadal confirmed that he and Roger Federer are both very nervous for their Laver Cup doubles match, one that will close the book on Federer’s professional career.
After the pairing was eagerly anticipated by fans, the Laver Cup confirmed that ‘Team Fedal’ will join forces on the first day of the 2022 competition.
While it is obviously a massive occasion for Federer as his final ever match, Nadal feels the pressure of the moment too.
“It’s going be difficult to handle everything, especially for Roger, without a doubt. For me too,” the world number three admitted. “You know, at the end, one of the most important players, if not the most important player in my tennis career, is leaving, no?”
“I’m super excited to have them on our team… and not having to play against them on my last match.”@rogerfederer can’t wait to get out there one final time with Team Europe.#LaverCup pic.twitter.com/FCcHLdJ6tQ
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 22, 2022
Nadal’s rivalry with Federer stretches back 18 years and involves 40 competitive battles, though it comes second in terms of his most played head-to-heads to his 59 encounters with Novak Djokovic.
Nine of those battles with Federer came in Slam finals, the most recent of which was their fight for the 2017 Australian Open title. In contrast to those showdowns, Nadal is relishing the chance to share the same side of the court with Federer.
“Living this moment will be difficult,” he explained. “Of course I am super excited and grateful to play with him.
“I just think I’m going to try to do my best in every single way, to help [make] this moment even more special than what it’s going to be.”
Federer and Nadal have played Laver Cup doubles together before, at the inaugural event in Prague in 2017, but in no such atmosphere as they will be a part come Friday night.
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