Laver Cup live updates — Roger Federer plays doubles with Rafael Nadal in his final match before retirement

LONDON – After 24 years on the ATP Tour with 20 Grand Slam titles and 103 tournament wins worldwide, Roger Federer will play his final professional match on Friday night when he teams up with old rival Rafael Nadal in doubles in the fifth edition of the Laver Cup.

Created by Federer and his agent Tony Godsick, the event pits teams of six against each other. Joining Federer and Nadal in Team Europe will be Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – the first time the Big Four have all played at the same time at the Laver Cup. We will have live updates during Federer’s last match:

On to the tie break

You’ll have to give it to Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe – they play a great tiebreak to win the second set. Federer’s final match will be decided in a 10-point tiebreak. – Simon Cambers

Initially set on Federer and Nadal

The biggest excitement came during the changeovers – particularly when a man stripped off about 10 shirts to the tune of Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony.”

The first break point of the game goes to Team World on Nadal’s serve, but Federer smashes away an easy smash and two points later he nails a volley to stay 5-4 up. Then Federer nailed two groundstrokes to break and win the first set 6-4. – Simon Cambers

The wildest point so far

I bet even Federer has never done it: At the score of 1:1, 40:15 on his serve, he somehow hits the ball through a tiny hole in the net on a passing shot. He loses the point but still holds the serve properly. Does he really need to retire?

“My eye is still good. I saw it go through,” he said afterwards.

As he transitions, the large video screen shows tributes from his rivals and family. It will be really difficult for Federer to get through this without bursting into tears.

It’s not a carnival atmosphere – when Team World wins points there’s thunderous applause – but the crowd comes alive every time Federer and Nadal do something. Let’s not forget that they both won Olympic gold medals in doubles: Federer with Stan Wawrinka in 2008 and Nadal with Marc Lopez in 2016. It won’t be easy for Sock and Tiafoe. – Simon Cambers

It’s finally starting

The first night match took a little longer than expected as Alex de Minaur finally defeated Murray after almost 2½ hours but we are now ready for Federer’s final match. Celebrities are in the house: Rod Laver of course, plus Anna Wintour, Bear Grylls, Stan Smith and Hugh Grant, among others, we’re sure. Stefan Edberg does the coin tossing – he trained Federer for two years.

Every shot Federer hits, let alone when he’s a winner, is met with a deafening roar. He said he wanted it to be a celebration – and it is. – Simon Cambers

waiting to start

Due to the protracted battle between Murray and de Minaur in the first game of the evening – the first set alone lasted 81 minutes – Federer and Nadal had to wait longer than expected to enter the court. While this delay likely took an emotional toll on Federer, it provided the opportunity for some truly epic moments between the two legends as they watched together backstage and reacted accordingly. — D’Arcy Maine

Prepare for the last time

The story of #TeamFedal

While Federer and Nadal have shared the court many times over the years, this is only the second time they have played doubles together. They first met at the inaugural Laver Cup in 2017, facing Sock and Sam Querrey as they did on Friday.

Back then, Federer and Nadal had only trained together once during their careers – something Federer revealed during the event. Each had also played (and won) their individual matches earlier in the day, but unsurprisingly the duo still won the match 6-4, 1-6, 10-5. There were plenty of highlight-worthy points, of course, and even more laughs, High fives and gif-worthy celebrations.

After the match, Nadal said the partnership was something he had wanted for a long time.

“Having the opportunity to have Roger next to me is a great privilege and something I wanted to achieve at some point,” Nadal said. “Today was the perfect day for that, wasn’t it?” — D’Arcy Maine

Federer’s farewell

Last week, Federer announced his decision to retire from tennis after confirming his recovery from right knee surgery in 2021 was not as good as he had hoped.

It ended the career of one of the greatest men’s tennis players of all time. Federer won eight Wimbledon titles, six Australian Opens, five US Opens and one French Open title and dominated men’s tennis for many years.

The 41-year-old, who hopes to play exhibition games in the future and has vowed to stay close to tennis, said on Thursday he looks forward to playing with Nadal, a man he has faced 40 times, including nine Grand Slam Final.

“Of course it’s very special to play with Rafa,” said Federer. “It feels really different. To go on the pitch and in the past to have the chance to play with the likes of Rafa or Novak was an amazing experience for me. To be able to do that again, I’m sure that it’s going to be wonderful. I’ll do my best. I hope to do well out there. Of course I’ll enjoy it, but it’s going to be difficult.”

Nadal said he can’t wait.

“After everything we have experienced together on and off the pitch, being part of this historic moment will be something amazing and unforgettable for me,” he said. – Simon Cambers

The Big Four together

For the first time, the Laver Cup brings together Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

The quartet has won 66 Grand Slam titles and 329 tournaments, and has contested numerous Grand Slam finals.

Federer said it was a nice change to have her on his side.

“I’m super excited to have them on our team, my team, and not have to play them in my last game,” he said.

Murray, who was scheduled to play between Federer and Nadal on Friday before the doubles match, agreed.

“I think the atmosphere will be incredible,” he said, “playing in front of Roger and Rafa in the night session will be very special.” – Simon Cambers

Can Team World break through?

Team Europe, led by Bjorn Borg, has won all four previous editions against Team World, led by John McEnroe.

Although Team Europe won 13-11 in 2019, Europe beat Team World 14-1 last year and once again went into the match as big favourites.

McEnroe knows he’s under pressure to perform but says there may be a window of opportunity with players like Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime in his lineup.

“Bjorn has a dream team but Roger is announcing his retirement, Andy is struggling to get back to his best health and Rafa’s wife is back home expecting a baby. That gives us some hope,” McEnroe told the London evening Normal newspaper. – Simon Cambers

Laver Cup 101

Each day consists of four games – three singles and one doubles – and each win earns one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday. The first team to 13 points wins the competition and if it ties 12-12 a crucial fifth game is played.

Each match is the best of three sets, although the third set is a 10-point tiebreak. – Simon Cambers Laver Cup live updates — Roger Federer plays doubles with Rafael Nadal in his final match before retirement

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