Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe out to play the villains against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe are relishing their role as pantomime villains in Friday night’s “beyond iconic” doubles showdown with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Federer, the winner of 20 grand slam titles, is partnering his oldest rival Nadal at the Laver Cup in what will be the Swiss great’s final match of an illustrious 24-year career.
But Sock, nowadays more of a doubles specialist, and Tiafoe represent a serious challenge to the exalted Team Europe duo.
Team World, captained by John McEnroe, are still looking for their first win in the fifth edition of the event, and Sock said: “I think we have a great chance.
“Obviously tomorrow night is going to be a beyond iconic, evening doubles match. I’m just stoked to be a part of it with my guy Foe next to me.
“We will go out and enjoy the moment, but not going to hold anything back. Sorry, Roger. Don’t want to spoil the night.”
He said: “I’m just excited to play two up-and-comers tomorrow! Should be good.
“No, it’s going to be iconic to be part of that. Both guys are absolute legends, and obviously it’s Roger’s last dance.
“Again, as Jack said, we are definitely just out there trying to get a win.”
“I love Laver Cup competition,” said Tiafoe, who rose to a career-high World No 19 in singles following his success in New York which included a massive win over Nadal.
“I know what to expect and I think we have a great chance this year of taking the title from Team Europe.
“I just proved that I can play with the best, and I’m capable of winning Grand Slams,” Tiafoe added.
“I’ve always backed myself against the best players in the world — I’m doing it on a consistent basis, starting to beat guys more readily, ready to take the next step,” said Tiafoe. “I feel like I can win any match.”
Frances Tiafoe will be one of the players to watch at the Laver Cup, and McEnroe feels that there isn’t a hotter property in American men’s tennis.
“Frances is trending in the right direction, he brings a lot of energy and he’s got some great talent,” Team World Captain McEnroe said earlier this week.
Team World have never won the Laver Cup and will need an immense effort to get past a Europe team dominated by the big four and top 10 stars Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
READ MORE: How to watch Roger Federer’s last match
Teen sensation and Andy Murray fan Mirra Andreeva to crack 100 in rankings
Mirra Andreeva set to surge to a career-high of No 97.
Denis Shapovalov says he is ‘a huge fan’ of Carlos Alcaraz ahead of French Open clash
The Canadian praised the world No 1 for being “super humble” given what he has already achieved.
Aryna Sabalenka refuses to answer questions about war from Ukrainian journalist
The world No 2 was asked about her apparent links to Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.
‘Iron Man’ Novak Djokovic keeps mum about mysterious object on chest
Novak Djokovic trying to impersonate Iron Man.
Emma Raducanu splits with fifth coach in two years
The former German player was appointed in mid-December.
Carlos Alcaraz says he ‘does not copy’ Djokovic, Nadal or Federer
The world No 1 has declared he is “simply 100% Alcaraz”.
Thanasi Kokkinakis after brutal win: ‘S*** I have to go again in two days’
“To try and win five sets is brutal. It’s a pain, especially on clay.”
Tennis player cops big fine, docked ranking points after disgraceful incident
Mikael Ymer lost his prize money, fined and docked his ranking points.
Follow the 2023 French Open with T365’s scores and results centre…
Catch the action from Roland Garros…
‘Carlos Alcaraz the most complete 20-year-old, but his backhand gets a B+’
How many Grand Slams will Carlos Alcaraz win?