Federer Offers Laver Cup Advice, Touts ‘Superstar’ Doubles Combos
Each match may come down to individual or doubles-tandem brilliance, but Roger Federer believes team integration remains the key for Laver Cup success.
The Swiss great helped Team Europe to victory against Team World in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before bringing his career to a close in emotional scenes at the 2022 edition of the annual team event. What advice does the former World No. 1 have for the seven Laver Cup debutants set to compete inside Vancouver’s Rogers Arena this weekend?
“I think it’s [all about] thriving in the team environment, being well prepared and embracing a big crowd,” said the Swiss great in Vancouver ahead of this weekend’s action. “It always depends on when you play, obviously, whether it’s opening day or the second day, but listen to the ones who have already been at Laver Cups before, and they can give you some sound advice.
“I’m sure they’ll be fine. They’re all excellent players here, we’re talking about world-class players.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) September 19, 2023
Federer lined up on the doubles court alongside his great friend and rival Rafael Nadal for the final match of his career in London a year ago, when Team World denied him a victorious goodbye by snatching a 13-8 victory at the O2. The Swiss believes that part of the beauty of the Laver Cup is the opportunity it gives fans to witness top ATP Tour singles stars join forces on the doubles court.
“I always get very excited about Laver Cup doubles teams because they’re usually always teams that we haven’t seen in the past,” said Federer. “[This year for Team Europe] I’d like to maybe see [Hubert] Hurkacz and [Andrey] Rublev play together. On the World side, I think there’s tonnes of doubles teams there. Ben Shelton, I see him playing quite a few, also Frances [Tiafoe], I can see him playing some. Maybe also Taylor Fritz, I’d like to see how he plays doubles.
“I just like superstar combinations; I think that’s always very exciting.”
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As the first anniversary of his retirement approaches, Federer’s passion for tennis remains. Although no longer lighting up stadiums with his on-court prowess, he is happy to sit back and enjoy watching his former ATP colleagues from the stands, as he will do this weekend in British Columbia.
“It’s good fun. I was at Wimbledon this year, also sat in the stands, and it felt great,” said Federer. “I was really happy seeing tennis. I still follow results. I can’t sit through full matches just because I’ve got too much going on or it’s a bad time zone, but I sometimes check out the highlights and being live in the stadium honestly has a different feeling.
“Tennis is a great live sport, so I’m really happy to be back here in Vancouver and seeing some live tennis again.”