Nadal surprises Federer: “Who was your favorite doubles partner?”
Roger Federer returns to the Laver Cup as a spectator a year after his retirement. The 20-time Grand Slam champion reveals what he misses most from his playing days.
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Roger Federer visits the Laver Cup in Vancouver at the weekend and sees how Team Europe has no chance against Team World. Federer experiences every game live, is always in demand and says: “I was so busy, I almost lost my voice.” The Laver Cup will take place in Berlin next year – and Federer already has a few ideal candidates to strengthen Team Europe in Germany.
Around a year ago, Roger Federer said goodbye to the big tennis stage with one last appearance in the Laver Cup doubles and ended his glorious career. At the side of his long-time rival Rafael Nadal, the Swiss had to admit defeat in his last professional match, but this ultimately became a side note.
The farewell ceremony remains much better for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who, as so often, lets his emotions run wild and ultimately even cries with Nadal.
Sought after as ever
This year Federer returns to the Laver Cup as a spectator. In Vancouver, the celebrity guest is as popular as he was during active times. When the 42-year-old is shown on the big screen in the Rogers Arena, where ice hockey is usually played, loud cheers break out. Numerous “meet and greets” kept the maestro busy over the six days in North America, and the media was still clamoring for an interview around 12 months after his resignation.
«It’s great to be back and in the tennis family again. It’s the first time that I’ve experienced the Laver Cup from a completely different perspective,” says the Basel native in conversation with “Eurosport” enthusiastic. He watched every single game live. “I’ve had a great week, I’ve been so busy I’m almost losing my voice.”
“I miss the adrenaline”
However, Federer has to watch as Team Europe has no chance at the first Laver Cup since his retirement and goes down 2:13. “Team World destroyed Europe,” the maestro doesn’t mince his words, but is already looking forward to the revenge next year in Berlin: “Hopefully Team Europe can win again.”
For the seventh edition, the co-founder of the Laver Cup would like to see big names take part. «I would like to see Novak again. Alcaraz and Djokovic in the same team – I would love to see that.” Zverev, Rune and Medvedev are also among Federer’s dream players for the European team in Berlin.
The tennis pensioner himself wants to be there in Germany next year – as a spectator, of course. But Federer admits that he also misses some things from his playing days. «I miss the adrenaline, but at the same time I’m happy not to have it. “You secretly like to be the center of attention,” explains Federer. “I miss the big ovations and seeing people’s happy faces. But the tour was good for me and I’m happy in retirement.”
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