'Doubles next year?' – Nadal excites fans with Federer post on social media

Rafael Nadal has excited fans with a post on social media asking Roger Federer if he would like to play doubles with him next year.

The official Laver Cup account posted on Instagram announcing the O2 Arena in London as next year’s official host venue for the annual team event on Monday.

Nadal, who has played doubles alongside Federer in the past at various exhibitions, including the Laver Cup, was quick to respond with an intriguing question.

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Sharing the post to his personal Instagram story, the 35-year-old wrote: “@rogerfederer doubles next year?”

If nothing else, it is surely an encouraging indication of how the Spaniard feels about his injury struggles at the tail-end of the year – and perhaps how Federer may be shaping up for the new season having endured similar fitness frustrations.

Both legendary players were absent from the 2021 edition of the Laver Cup, but that did not stop Team Europe claiming a fourth victory in succession with ease in Boston.

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Bjorn Borg has been used to having Federer and Nadal among his ranks for the event – named in a tribute to another tennis legend, Rod Laver – and the Swede will be hopeful of having both back with him in London next year.

Federer was present as a watching supporter from the stands in Boston and, as his face flashed up on the screen, a huge roar went up around the arena.

On his own battle back to fitness in an interview with Mercedes-Benz prior to the event, Federer said: “I’m feeling actually really good, considering you know, that things are not as I hoped they would be, but I’m recovering well and the rehab is going really good I must say.

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“I’ve had no setbacks. You know, every day is a better day. I’m feeling strong and excited for what’s to come.

“I experienced it, of course, already a little bit last year. And I was actually surprised how somewhat easy it was for me to go through the rehab process, because I know it’s not everybody’s favourite thing to do, especially as a top athlete. But I think maybe after all these years of travelling, it’s also it was nice to be home having more time for the family and other things.

“Of course, I wish I could be back on a tennis court as quick as possible, but I have to be patient. And look, it’s a slow period right now. And I got to take it step by step. And so far so good. So I’m very happy.”

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From Rivals To Teammates, Team Europe Proves A Force At Laver Cup

Team Europe’s talent was clear leading into the 2021 Laver Cup. There were six of the Top 10 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings on the roster, including the past three Nitto ATP Finals champions: Daniil Medvedev (2020), Stefanos Tsitsipas (2019) and Alexander Zverev (2018).

But what was even more special than their on-court abilities was how well they came together as a group, according to Tsitsipas.

“I’d like to thank all of my teammates. They have all been kind of my rivals, and it is nice to see that now we get to be part of one team and aim for the same goals and for the same things,” Tsitsipas said. “It has been more than a pleasure to be fighting for this trophy, and I think what is the most important and what stands out this week [are] the memories that we have built and formed together.”

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Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laver Cup
The likes of Tsitsipas, US Open champion Medvedev and Tokyo Olympics winner Zverev are used to battling each other for trophies. But this weekend, they combined to become a dominant force at TD Garden.

“That’s what I have been most grateful for. Each single one of them had something to offer. And this experience is so extraordinary with two incredible captains and players that are willing to give everything for this event,” Tsitsipas said. “I feel privileged to be standing where I’m at right now and to be learning from the best, and that happens to be my teammates.”

Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud all made their Laver Cup debuts this year. They quickly got used to the team environment and are leaving with great memories. Rublev said lifting the trophy was one of his two most emotional moments of his year.

“It’s something that is going to stay forever with me and be a special moment. For sure, I’m going to miss this week a lot,” Rublev said. “Of course on the tennis court [it] was [an] amazing atmosphere, amazing stadium with [an] amazing crowd full of people, which all of us were missing a lot, especially after such a tough time.”

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The Boston crowd was firmly behind Team World, but Team Europe never took it personally and often thanked the fans after matches for their support. Importantly, they won five of the six Match Tie-breaks contested over the weekend.

“An amazing week for us, I think I have an amazing team. I’m so grateful, I don’t know what to say,” Medvedev said, cracking a smile. “Amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing.”

Team Europe was again led by Captain Bjorn Borg and Vice Captain Thomas Enqvist. Borg was often calm on the bench, but he enjoyed every moment.

“For me personally as captain, [this] is the most important week in the year,” Borg said. “I think we all are very happy to defend our title. These are six guys who, like I said, [are the] future of tennis. They play unbelievable tennis.

“Just to put together what we did as a team, it’s unbelievable. These guys played great tennis, even if [a] few matches were very close. But it went our way. I’m very happy.”

Highlights: Rublev and Zverev wrap up Laver Cup success for Team Europe

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Highlights: Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev wrap up Laver Cup success for Team Europe

Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev wrapped up Laver Cup victory for Team Europe with a win over Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov in the doubles. To be fair to Shapovalov and Opelka, they went out with a roar rather than a whimper as they battled hard before the Europeans wrapped up a 6-2 6-7(4) 10-3 success.

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‘Roger was supporting Team World!’ – Rublev jokingly accuses Federer of split loyalties

Andrey Rublev joked that Roger Federer was supporting Team World on the third and final day of the Laver Cup in Boston.

He and partner Alexander Zverev sealed Laver Cup victory for Team Europe with a 6-2 6-7(4) 10-3 win over Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov in the doubles.

It was a fourth straight success for Team Europe in the event, and Rublev and Zverev were in jovial mood during their post-match chat with Jim Courier.

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Courier took the opportunity to thank Swiss star Federer for creating the event but Rublev interjected, saying:

I don’t know, I saw Roger today was supporting Team World during our doubles

Courier, ever the professional, attempted to intimate that even if the 20-time Grand Slam winner had split allegiances, it would have been to see the event extended to a further singles match, saying: “Maybe he just wanted to see one more singles match.”

However, Zverev was having none of it.

“Actually, that makes sense now because he was trying to confuse me during the singles yesterday as well. While the whole team was telling me to do one thing he was telling me to do the complete opposite. So now, I understand – smart guy over there.”

Zverev was referring to his match against John Isner as Team Europe took team-mate coaching to the next level – with the Olympic champion getting advice from his eight team-mates and also Federer sitting in the stands.

You can watch the Laver Cup on Eurosport 1, eurosport.co.uk and via the Eurosport app. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now to get yourself all set for the action from Boston.

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McEnroe On Team World: “These Guys Have Given It Their All'

Team Europe won its fourth Laver Cup in as many editions this weekend. Team World Captain John McEnroe hopes that this will be his squad’s last defeat, and that his group is able to channel his late friend, Vitas Gerulaitis, who once said, “Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row!”

“I feel like it will be like, “No one wins the Laver Cup, beats us, John McEnroe, five times in a row’,” McEnroe said.

Team Europe triumphed 14-1 in a lopsided result on paper. But that was in large part because the Europeans won five of the six Match Tie-breaks, including in the doubles clincher on Sunday, when Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev defeated Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-3.

“We battled our best. These guys are a great team, no question, incredible team. They had good team spirit. We did as well,” McEnroe said. “Obviously if you get a couple different results, [we] could have put more pressure on them, but we just came up short in I think [five] tie-breaks. You win half those, totally different story.”

Team World showed great camaraderie throughout the weekend, from their bench celebrations to coaching each other and getting the fans into the matches.

“These guys have given it their all. I just hope I can make a slight bit of positive difference each time. That’s what I try to do,” McEnroe said. “It would be nice to be part of a team that won, to at least somehow figure out a way.”

One of the team’s players, Nick Kyrgios, has long expressed how much he loves the Laver Cup. Although the Australian was disappointed to not lift the trophy this year, he still had a blast competing with his teammates in Boston.

“Obviously not the result we wanted, but I thought we all had fun. For the new guys, Reilly [Opelka] and Felix [Auger-Aliassime], I think they had great debuts, put in great performances,” Kyrgios said. “As John said, [a] couple points here or there could have changed the swing of things early on. That’s the way it goes, and the memories I will take away [are of] another great week. I had a lot of fun.”

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Team Europe was favoured heading into the competition, with six of the Top 10 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings on its roster this year, and they showed why. But according to Team World veteran John Isner, the defeat will not stop his team from pushing for victory next year.

“Team World is going to keep coming out here and battling the underdog role, actually something that is pretty special, and we have made this event close a bunch of times,” Isner said. “I think I speak for everyone up here — whether I play again or not, who knows — but for the future newcomers, there is no one any of us would rather play for than Captain McEnroe. As Reilly said, [he is] one of the biggest legends our sport has ever seen, one of the biggest personalities in a very, very good way our sport has ever seen.

“So this event has it all. I do think the World will get one of these eventually.”

Rublev and Zverev wrap up Laver Cup win for Team Europe

Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev wrapped up Laver Cup victory for Team Europe with a win over Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov in the doubles.

Team Europe totally dominated Team World in Boston, and went into Sunday’s final day holding an 11-1 advantage.

There was never much likelihood of a fightback from Team World against a vastly superior team, and they were put out of their misery in the opening match of the day.

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To be fair to Shapovalov and Opelka, they went out with a roar rather than a whimper as they battled hard before the Europeans wrapped up a 6-2 6-7(4) 10-3 success.

While Team World were the stronger on serve with eight aces, they were broken on two occasions in the opening set.

It appeared as though Europe would run away with the contest, but the World duo rallied and grabbed the second set in a tie-break.

The match tie-break saw Zverev and Rublev up the ante and they secured the Laver Cup in dominant fashion.

“It’s been amazing,” Rublev said. “It’s been a pleasure to be with these guys, with Bjorn and Thomas behind our back. It was a pleasure.”

The Laver Cup has been held on four occasions, and Europe have emerged victorious each time.

This was a complete rout, but Zverev attempted to paint a different picture.

“A lot of matches could have gone both ways and we won most of those matches,” Zverev said.

At the end of the day, the score says that it was 14-1, but it could have gone both ways a lot of the time.

– – –

You can watch the Laver Cup on Eurosport 1, eurosport.co.uk and via the Eurosport app. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now to get yourself all set for the action from Boston.

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Rublev & Zverev Clinch Laver Cup For Team Europe

Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev clinched a comprehensive Laver Cup win for Team Europe on Sunday afternoon when they defeated Team World’s Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-3 to give their team an insurmountable 14-1 lead.

“I was thinking I’m one of the worst ones in doubles, that I can only shoot forehands and that’s it. But it looks like I can play doubles really well,” Rublev said in the on-court interview. “It’s been amazing. It’s been a pleasure to be with these guys, with Bjorn and Thomas behind our back. It was a pleasure.”

Team Europe has now won the first four editions of the three-day event. The only match they have dropped this weekend came in Friday evening’s doubles match.

Team World faced a daunting task when they arrived at TD Garden in Boston for the third day of action, knowing they had to win all four matches to claim the trophy. Opelka and Shapovalov battled hard to win the second set and put pressure on their opponents, but they were unable to finish the job.

Shapovalov made two unforced errors early in the Match Tie-break and Rublev and Zverev took full advantage. Team Europe have won five of the six Match Tie-breaks in this year’s Laver Cup.

“A lot of matches could have gone both ways and we won most of those matches,” Zverev said in the on-court interview. “At the end of the day, the score says that it was 14-1, but it could have gone both ways a lot of the time.

“I think we’re all extremely happy. We [did] a lot of hard work for this victory throughout the whole week. The guys have been amazing. The group of this team has been absolutely amazing. I think a lot of us came a lot closer together and to be honest I can’t wait for London next year.”

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