On Friday, Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam singles champion, will play one last time on the ATP Tour, during the Laver Cup in London.
He will not play singles. Instead, he will play doubles, partnering Rafael Nadal, his old rival on the court and his friend.
The Laver Cup pits six European players against six players from the rest of the world. The competition, which is sometimes compared to the team Ryder Cup golf tournament, is a chance to see players who usually play alone come together.
Federer and Nadal will play against two Americans, Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock. The match is likely to happen around 8:30pm London time at the earliest (3:30pm Eastern).
Federer helped create the Laver Cup and make it a tour event, though on Friday the competition as a whole will take a backseat to a chance for fans to get one last look at Federer, who hasn’t played since Wimbledon last year. last year. The setting is sure to produce several memorable moments.
Roger Federer’s goodbye to professional tennis
The Swiss tennis player leaves the game with one of the best competitive records in history.
- Evaluation: “He has once again embodied, figuratively and literally, men’s tennis, and for the first time in years, the future of the game is unpredictable,” author David Foster Wallace wrote of Roger Federer in 2006.
- A touching farewell: Wimbledon may have been more suitable. But the Laver Cup, which Federer helped create, will offer a sensible final act for one of the greatest players of this era.
- Two great rivals: When players retire from individual sports like tennis, their rivalries go with them. Here is a look at some of the best matches that pitted Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
- Tennis after Federer: The Swiss player, along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, helped define a remarkably long-lasting period in men’s tennis history. He is followed by a new generation of hungry players, ready to fight their way to the breach.
Here are some things to know about the match:
What channel is broadcasting the match?
In the United States, The Tennis Channel will broadcast the Laver Cup. In Canada, it will be on TVA Sports. ESPN will broadcast the tournament in many countries in Latin and Central America. Eurosport will broadcast the matches in Europe except in France, where viewers will be able to watch the competition via beIN Sports. Federer will take the court during the night session in London on Friday.
Who is playing?
There are 12 players competing in the Laver Cup. Three players from each team are ranked based on their individual ATP rankings on the Monday after the French Open.
Three other players are selected for each team as “captain’s picks”. John McEnroe is the captain of Team World and Bjorn Borg is the captain of Team Europe.
This year, Team World will be represented by Felix Auger-Aliassime from Canada, Diego Schwartzman from Argentina, Alex de Minaur from Australia, and Americans Taylor Fritz, Jack Sock, and Frances Tiafoe. Tommy Paul of the United States is a substitute for Team World and Patrick McEnroe, John’s brother, is the team’s vice-captain.
Between them, the players representing Team Europe have more than 60 Grand Slam titles. They are Novak Djokovic from Serbia, Nadal from Spain, Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece, Federer from Switzerland, Casper Ruud from Norway and Andy Murray from Great Britain. Italy’s Matteo Berrettini is the alternate for Team Europe, and Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist, a former player who peaked in the top five, is the team’s vice-captain.
What is the format?
The Laver Cup is a combination of singles and doubles matches over three days. Matches are two sets, and if the match is tied at one set each, a winner is determined by a 10-point tiebreaker: first to 10 points while winning by two wins the match.
Each player plays in at least one singles match in the first two days of the competition, and no player may play a singles match more than twice over the course of the tournament. At least four of the six players on a team play doubles.
Federer was granted an exception to allow him to play once in doubles.
How did the Laver Cup start?
Federer has a special relationship with the Laver Cup; was created by TEAM8, the agency that represents him.
Tony Godsick, Federer’s agent, said Federer wanted to do something special to honor Rod Laver, the Australian tennis star who won 11 Grand Slam singles titles, including the calendar year Grand Slam (Australian Open, French Open , Wimbledon and US Open). all in one year) in 1962 and 1969.
Where is it?
This year’s Laver Cup will be in London at the O2 Arena, an indoor venue that can hold up to 20,000 people. The competition rotates between cities in Europe and the rest of the world every year.
Last year, the tournament was played at TD Garden, home to the NBA’s Boston Celtics and the NHL’s Bruins. Next year’s Laver Cup will be held in Vancouver at the Rogers Arena, which is home to the Canucks, with the competition moving to Berlin in 2024 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
How do you win the Laver Cup?
The first team to reach 13 points wins the Laver Cup. On the first day of the competition, a match win is worth one point. On Day 2, a match win is worth two points, and on Day 3 each match is worth three points.
If the teams are tied on 12 points each, they will play a final match on Sunday for the title.