Roger Federer hopes to play doubles with Rafael Nadal in his final match as a professional. The 41-year-old claims it would be an “absolute dream” to bow out playing alongside his old rival.
Federer will hang up his racquet following the Laver Cup in London this week. He announced his retirement from tennis earlier this month due to ongoing knee problems.
The Swiss has not played competitively since Wimbledon last year. Federer has decided he is not able to play singles this week but is hoping to play a doubles match on Friday.
And he wants to line up alongside Nadal for Team Europe. Speaking to Swiss media, Federer said: “Maybe I can play doubles with Rafa, that would be an absolute dream.”
Federer and Nadal have enjoyed one of sport’s greatest rivalries across a decade-and-a-half. They have faced each other 40 times on the tour, including on many occasions in the latter stages of major tournaments.
But the pair’s final on-court meeting could see them on the same side of the net. Federer has thanked fans for their messages of support in the last week or so.
But he has reiterated that he has made the right decision. He said: “It’s nice that the reporting was so positive, I didn’t know what to expect.
“So far the echo has been wonderful. [But] it can’t be that I’m trying to run after something that is hardly realistic anymore.”
Following the announcement of Federer’s impending retirement, Nadal posted a message on Instagram to the 20-time Grand Slam champion. The Spaniard wrote: “Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come… it’s a sad day for me personally and for sports people around the world. I said it to you when we spoke and now it’s here.
“It’s been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court. We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there are still lots of things to do together, we know that.
“For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you in London at the @lavercup.”