Mark your calendars as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer might be on the same side of the court as doubles partners at the inaugural Laver Cup at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Laver Cup, a tourney dedicated to Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, will be an annual competition between the top six European players against the top six players of the rest of the world.
It will be a promotional battle, with no ranking points given to winners. It will be held two weeks after the US Open, and its venue will be rotating across the world. This year, 11-time Grand Slam winner Bjorn Borg will captain Europe, and seven-time Grand Slam winner John McEnroe will captain the World.
“I’ve played a lot against Rafa on so many occasions, in big matches, I think in nine Grand Slam finals,” said Federer of the possible teaming up with Nadal. “Finally to have him on my side, it’s a joy.”
“We talked about playing doubles a long, long time ago. It never happened. Of course, I would love to share the side of the net this time around. We have to see how practice goes, and then at the end Bjorn will take the ultimate decision.”
“Of course, I would love [to play with world number two Federer],” said the world number one, Nadal. “It will be amazing if that happens.”
“We’re looking forward to playing here, hopefully. Let’s see if the captain allows us to play.”
Nadal of Spain and number two Federer of Switzerland are in Team Europe, along with Germany’s Alexander Zverev, Croatia’s Marin Cilic, Austria’s Dominic Thiem, and hometown favorite Tomas Berdych.
British Andy Murray, ranked third in the world, is recovering from past injuries and withdrew from the competition.
Team World will have Americans Sam Querrey, John Isner, Jack Sock, and Francis Tiafoe, along with Australian Nick Kyrgios and Canadian Denis Shapovalov. Canadian Milos Raonic and Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro were included but withdrew.