Roger Federer names dream doubles partner for final match after confirming he won’t play singles at Laver Cup

Federer said it would be ‘special’ to partner up with his great rival Nadal after confirming he will not play in the singles in London

Jamie Braidwood
Wednesday 21 September 2022 12:31 BST
Emotional Roger Federer wishes he could 'go on forever' as he prepares to retire from tennis

Roger Federer has confirmed the final match of his tennis career will be in the doubles at the Laver Cup on Friday night.

The 41-year-old, who announced his retirement from the sport last week following a record-breaking career, said he is still having to manage the “limitations” on his body.

The Swiss has undergone several knee surgeries in recent years, and has not played competitively since he was defeated by Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2021.

As it stands, that will be Federer’s final singles match of his career, but the 20-time grand slam champion has confirmed he will take to the court for one last time at the O2 Arena in the doubles.

Rafael Nadal would be a popular doubles partner for Federer, who said it would be “special” to play alongside the Spaniard and his great rival in his final match.

“No doubt. I think it could be quite a unique situation, if it were to happen,” Federer said. “For as long as we battled together to having always this respect for one another, the families, our coaching teams, we always got along really well.

“For us as well to go through a career that we both have had and to come out on the other side and being able to have a nice relationship I think is maybe a great message as well to not just tennis but sports and maybe even beyond.

“For that reason I think it would be great. I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I think it could be obviously a special moment.”

Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray could also play alongside Federer for Team Europe, while his Team World opponents will be confirmed on Thursday.

According to the rules of the Laver Cup, a tournament Federer helped create, all six players on each team must feature in at least one singles match on the opening two days of the tournament.

But Federer said he had discussed the idea of only playing one doubles match with Team Europe captain Bjorn Bjorg, Team World captain John McEnroe, as well as the tournament organisers, and he had received permission to not play in the singles. Federer will be replaced in the tournament by Europe’s alternate, Matteo Berrettini, who will take Federer’s place in the singles on Saturday.

“I am trying to prepare for one last doubles, and we’ll see with who it is,” Federer said. “I’m nervous going in because I haven’t played in so long. I hope I can be somewhat competitive.”

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