Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Laver Cup: live match results and updates

Credit…Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are not a new doubles team. They teamed up in 2011 for some fun games in Melbourne, Australia at a charity match, but their real debut came in September 2017 in Prague at the inaugural Laver Cup team event.

Both were at the top of their games at the time, having split all four Grand Slam singles titles that year. Nadal was ranked No. 1. Federer was ranked No. 2, and both were clearly delighted at the opportunity to join forces when I interviewed them before the match in the backseat of a van.

The ride was bumpy: Prague has a lot of cobblestones. But the mood was light as a giddy Federer guffawed at almost everything Nadal said.

“I hope we haven’t waited too long because we are too old now,” Federer said of their partnership.

Federer and Nadal did very well in their matching blue shirts and white scarves. With Federer in the two court and Nadal in the ad court, they quickly meshed despite nearly colliding when Nadal stepped back to strike overhand, forcing Federer to duck.

“We played with too much energy,” Nadal said later, shaking his head and smiling. “It was fun. It’s the first time we’ve played together, as everyone knows, and sometimes it’s hard to make decisions when it’s the first time you play with a partner.”

It was an extended photo shoot, to be sure, but also a closely contested match with Federer and Nadal defeating Team World’s Jack Sock and Sam Querrey 6-4, 1-6, (10-5) and embracing each other in victory (The Laver Cup uses a 10-point first-set tie-break instead of a full third set.)

“I’m happy that we won the only match we’ve played so far,” Federer said, sounding relieved in the on-court interview.

On Friday night, they’ll play one more, with Sock back on the opposite side of the net with new partner Frances Tiafoe. Federer, 41, and Nadal, 36, are even older now, but for Federer at least, there is nothing to save his energy for. In terms of tennis, this is it.

“I will do my best,” Federer said. “I hope to do well and of course I will enjoy it, but it will be difficult.”


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