“It’s an event that I didn’t want to disrupt but, at the same time, I know my limits and I asked Bjorn (Borg, captain of the European team) if it was possible to play only one double, and so it would be Friday night“said the tennis legend.
The captain of the teamrest of the world“, John McEnroe, and the tournament management have also agreed, with the six players from each team generally having to play one or two of the nine scheduled singles.
Six days after announcing his upcoming retirement, the player with 20 Grand Slam titles chose, at 41, this team match between Europe and the rest of the world, in London, to exchange his last balls in competition.
“I’m getting ready for one last double, we’ll see with who“, he added with contained emotion.
“I’m obviously nervous that I haven’t played in so long, I hope to be competitive“, he slipped after a year and a half away from the courts trying to heal his right knee.
If his partner has not yet been officially appointed, everyone dreams of seeing him associated with Rafael Nadal, with whom the rivalry has long punctuated the circuit, even if Novak Djokovic and others have come to get involved since.
“Of course, it could be a pretty unique situation if that happens.“, admitted Federer, while insisting on the unique relationship that binds the two men.
“We fought for so long, but there was always this respect between us. Our families, our teams of coaches get along well too“, he pointed out.
“To have been able to maintain this good relationship is also a great message for the sport and beyond and for that reason it would be great if that happened. It would be a really special time“, he acknowledged.