Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the greatest of all time and the sporting world’s biggest rivals. They have won it all when it comes to what tennis has to offer. But in a rare moment, tennis fans were left in awe for 81 minutes as the duo kept their rivalries aside and stepped onto the court as doubles team, literally taking on the world on Saturday in the Laver Cup at Prague.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29: Roger Federer of Switzerland is congratulated by Rafael Nadal of Spain after winning the Men's Final match on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Pat Scala/Getty Images)
Representing team Europe, Roger Federer stepped onto the court with his doubles partner Rafael Nadal for the first time in their careers which has spanned over the best part of two decades. This might be the first time the duo played aside each other, but with 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them, unsurprisingly they continued to dominate the court, thrashing rest of the world’s Sam Querrey and Jack Sock 6-4, 1-6, 10-5. The world’s highest ranked duo handed Team Europe, skippered by Bjorn Borg, a 9-3 lead over Rest of the World, captained by John McEnroe.
With two grand slams each this year, the duo are back to their best. A video of the two discussing their tactics has also gone viral.
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 23, 2017
Despite the duo doing exceptionally well as partners, the world’s top ranked players will not continue as doubles partners. Federer made it clear with this statement. “We’re essentially singles players who play a bit of doubles and I don’t think that’s going to change.”
The Laver Cup is a new tournament in an already crowded tennis calendar. The brain child of the legend himself, Roger Federer and his sports management company Team8. The tournament is named after Australian Tennis great Rod Laver and has Europe battling it out against the Rest of the World.