The upcoming Laver Cup will be the last chance to see Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal together on the court. Two great rivals were never given an opportunity to compete alongside each other until the first edition of the Laver Cup in Prague 2017.
Thirteen and a half years after their first clash on the Tour, Roger and Rafa joined forces on Saturday, September 23, facing Jack Sock and Sam Querrey. Team Europe scored a 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 triumph in an hour and 19 minutes for a massive celebration.
Federer and Nadal sent Team Europe 9-3 ahead of the remaining four clashes scheduled for Sunday. Two legends lost momentum in the second set before bouncing back in the match tie break to bring home the victory. Jack and Sam gave their best to challenge the mighty opponents, facing only one break point in the opening set and outplaying Roger and Rafa in set number two.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer scored the doubles victory in Prague 2017.
The Americans created nine break chances and seized only two in the second set. Federer and Nadal raced into an 8-1 lead in the match tie break and brought the victory home.
Sock landed a forehand winner in the opener’s third game, and Federer hit a volley winner in the next one for 2-2. Roger held after deuce in game six, and he and Rafa moved in front with a break in the next one after Jack’s double fault.
Nadal served in game eight and experienced four break points. He and Roger denied them to bring the game home and open a 5-3 advantage. The Swiss held at 30 with a service winner in game ten to claim the opener 6-4 in 40 minutes and send the 35-time Major champions closer to the finish line.
Suddenly, their magic disappeared in the second set, as they stood inferior to the Americans. Querrey and Sock took charge from the baseline and at the net to build the advantage and gain a boost. Nadal got broken in game four after Sock’s deep return, and the Americans held at 30 in the next one for 4-1.
Querrey hit a volley winner at the net in game six to steal Federer’s serve and move his team ahead 5-1. Sam fired a smash winner in game seven, and Team World wrapped up the set in style for a boost of confidence. Federer and Nadal started all over in the match tie break and moved up 5-1 after Sock’s double fault.
Federer landed a perfect volley winner at the net to gain an 8-1 lead and move Team Europe closer to the finish line. The Americans grabbed four of the following five points and reduced the deficit to 9-5. Nadal and Federer took the 15th point to seal the deal and start a massive celebration with the rest of the blue squad.