Being teammates with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was ‘wonderful’ – Roger Federer
Roger Federer has hailed the “camaraderie” that comes with the Laver Cup bringing players together and said being teammates with rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was “wonderful.”
The Swiss great also spoke about the value players competing at the event can get from being around the legendary current and former stars involved.
The 2023 Laver Cup will be held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada from 22-24 September. Team World are the current champions, having prevailed 13-8 at the O2 Arena in London in 2022.
This will be the sixth edition of the exhibition team competition where two teams featuring players from Europe and the rest of the world face off. The indoor hard-court contest was established in 2017, with Team Europe holding a 4-1 edge from the five previous installments.
Tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, who formed an iconic rivalry during their careers, are the captains of Team Europe and Team World respectively.
Federer represented Team Europe at four Laver Cups, joining forces with Nadal in 2017 and 2019, and Djokovic in 2018, before the trio and Andy Murray all featured in the 2022 squad.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion partnered both Nadal and Djokovic in doubles at the event, with his 2022 Laver Cup doubles tie alongside the Spaniard the final match of his career.
Speaking ahead of this year’s edition of his competition, Federer expressed his appreciation that the event allowed him to join forces with his two greatest rivals.
“Seeing the camaraderie, people from different countries coming together in a team, like me and Rafa or me and Novak, has been wonderful,” said the 42-year-old.
“Seeing the fun and the joy that Borg and McEnroe have brought to the teams but also how much they enjoy their roles has been great. Looking back at all the last editions, they’ve all been sold out, they’ve all been so much fun.
“What’s been, for me really important, is that the players go away with loads of information in their backpacks and they can apply it in their day-to-day practice, their day-to-day life on a tennis court and think back to the Laver Cup that they learned something from the likes of John McEnroe or Bjorn Borg, or speaking to Rafa or me or Novak or [Rod] Laver.
“We want to leave the game better off and hopefully, in a small way, we can do that and shine a light on the former greats. These events are not to be underestimated.
“You create memories for children and their parents to look back on and go, look, remember that one time Laver Cup was in Vancouver, that inspired you to pick up a tennis racket or to train harder or you got a chance to meet one of the players, and you were in the stadium and you wanted to be like them.
“And maybe that’s going to be a catalyst for a lot of juniors here on the western side on Canada or even on a broader scale depending who is going to show it on TV.”
The Swiss was also excited to embrace his role as a spectator, rather than a competitor, in Vancouver.
“Being live in a stadium honestly has a different feel, and tennis is a great live sport so I’m really happy to be back here in Vancouver and seeing some live tennis again,” added the former world No 1.
“Vancouver’s going to be a great host just because it’s a great sports city. Tennis is not here very much, so having the best players in the world come to Vancouver, people are going to be excited.”
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