‘…but at the same time we were able to understand that personal relationships are more important than sometimes professional things.’
IMAGE: Team Europe’s Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal during practice session at O2 Arena in London on Thursday. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters
Ahead of their iconic doubles match at the Laver Cup on Friday, Rafael Nadal was asked to highlight some of his best moments against Roger Federer, and the Spaniard not surprisingly picking the 2008 Wimbledon final as one of his most cherished.
Nadal and Federer will team up for a doubles match on the opening day of the Laver Cup at London’s O2 Arena — a three-day team event in which Europe takes on the Rest of the World.
Nadal also spoke warmly of their enduring friendship.
“I think we are very proud it’s been a friendly rivalry,” said Nadal, who beat Federer in six Grand Slam finals.
“Not easy because we are playing for such important things for our tennis careers, but at the same time we were able to understand that personal relationships are more important than sometimes professional things.
“Tomorrow is going to be special thing.”
Rest of the World captain John McEnroe said there had been some “coin flicking” to see who would face Nadal and Federer in Friday’s doubles — saying that whatever the result of the match it would be a magical night for tennis.
“It’s a very unique situation that we are all fortunate enough to be around,” McEnroe said.
“This is like an incredible moment for our sport.
Sock said he was stoked to be part of an iconic night while Tiafoe, who reached the US Open semi-finals, added: “I’m just excited to play two up-and-comers!
“Both guys are absolute legends, and obviously it’s Roger’s last dance.”
Sock opens play in Friday’s first singles against US Open runner-up Casper Ruud while Murray is the evening warm up act against Alex de Minaur.