Two years ago, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal did something many tennis fans thought would never happen: they teamed up. The greatest righty and the greatest lefty of all time—can we at least agree on that?—had plenty of opportunities to put aside their sartorial differences and stand on the same side of the court over the course of their careers. But it wasn't until Laver Cup that grit and grace combined their ample powers for an iconic doubles pairing.
"After all the history that we have behind us, like rivals, to be together the same part of the court, fighting for a team is something that I think we really enjoyed a lot," Nadal said after their successful debut, a 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 win over Americans Sam Querrey and Jack Sock. "The possibility to have Roger next to me is, yeah, a huge privilege. Is something that for sure I want to make that happen at some point, and today was the ideal day to make that happen."
Like any good doubles partner, Federer backed up his Team Europe comrade.
"After this we will be rivals again, thank God, or unfortunately, however you want to see it, but this was something very special," Federer said. "It's been an absolute pleasure sharing the court with Rafa on the same side of the net. Knowing you can trust him in the big moments, seeing his decision-making, seeing his thought process was very interesting, and I will take these memories for a lifetime."
Federer's use of the word lifetime was key; he didn't say once in a lifetime. And while we don't know all of the participants at this year's edition of Laver Cup—the third overall, in Geneva, Switzerland—we do know this: Roger and Rafa will both be there again. It stands to reason that the game's' most celebrated tandem, the peanut butter and jelly of tennis, will give both sets of devoted fanbases the same thing to cheer about during the show-stopping September event. Bjorn Borg, captain of Team Europe in 2017 and 2018, employed Federer and Nadal en route to victory against Team World. Why not run it back?
Regardless of the lineup, you can purchase tickets to the third Laver Cup with an pre-sale on Thursday, February 7, from 4 a.m. ET to 5:59 p.m. ET. Click on the photo below during that exclusive window and enter code LAVER19TC to secure your seats.
“Being able to play the Laver Cup in my home country is a dream come true and I’m excited about joining our Team Europe captain Björn and seeing lots of fans in Geneva as part of the countdown," said Federer, who will commence a countdown for the Laver Cup on Friday. “Geneva is a great sports city—I’ve played some memorable matches at the Palexpo and it would be very special to win the Laver Cup with Team Europe at home here in Switzerland.”
Laver Cup fast facts:
—The Laver Cup is a three-day tournament pitting a team of six of the best tennis players from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world. For rules and an explanation of the playing format, go to LaverCup.com.
—Thomas Enqvist and Patrick McEnroe are vice captains of Team Europe and Team World, respectively.
—The tournament is named in honor of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the only man to win two calendar-year Grand Slams, and one of the greatest players of all time
—The inaugural Laver Cup was held at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic, in September 2017, with Team Europe defeating Team World 15-9
—In September 2018 more than 90,000 fans attended the Laver Cup at the United Center in Chicago, where Team Europe once again edged out Team World to win the second Laver Cup 13-8.
—The location will rotate between major cities in Europe and the rest of the world each year.
ATP Cordoba: Mon - Sun, 2/4 - 2/10
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