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Roger Federer’s doubles partner for his final match before retirement has been announced, and fans will be elated to see that the Swiss star will end his career alongside long-time rival Rafael Nadal. The pair will team up to represent Team Europe at the Laver Cup in Friday night’s doubles clash in what will be Federer’s last-ever outing on a match court.
The Laver Cup schedule for Friday – the day of Federer’s final match – has been released and Team Europe has put forward Federer and Nadal as a duo for the night session doubles match, facing the team of Jack Sock and Nadal’s US Open conqueror Frances Tiafoe.
Federer is retiring at this week’s Laver Cup and confirmed that the doubles match would be the last of his career, as he would withdraw from the rest of the weekend’s play and be replaced by Matteo Berrettini in singles. The 41-year-old had not yet determined his doubles partner on Wednesday but he will take to the court with the most significalt rival of his career.
Speaking on Wednesday, the 20-time Major champion admitted it would be a “special moment” to get to play with Nadal. “I think it could be quite a unique situation that if it were to happen that for as long as we battled together, having always respect for one another, families, coaching teams, we always got along really well and for us as well to go through the career that we’ve both had to come out the other side and have a nice relationship,” he said.
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The pair played doubles together at the inaugural Laver Cup back in 2017, beating Jack Sock who partnered with Sam Querrey. They were listed to play together again at the 2019 Laver Cup in Federer’s home of Swizterland but the Spaniard was forced to withdraw on the final day of the tournament with a wrist injury, with Stefanos Tsitsipas subbed in to play alongside Federer instead.
But it will be one last outing together on the doubles court for ‘Fedal’, with the Swiss maestro opting for a “unique” way to end his career – playing with his biggest rival instead of against him. The former world No 1 admitted he was happy to retire at the Laver Cup alongside Team Europe so he wouldn’t be “lonely” in his final professional match.
“Having Bjorn Borg on the bench with me for my finalgame resonated also in a big way with me,” he explained. “Having all the other guys around just felt like I was not going to be lonely announcing my retirement.
“Not that I wanted to hijack this event or anything, but just felt — I always feel sorry for players who sometimes retire on the tour, say, I’m going to play one more match, then at one point you lose and there you stand all alone. Obviously 99% of the time you will lose at one point because only one guy wins the tournament.”
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