The anticipation is growing for the last match of Roger Federer’s career. The former world number 1 will say goodbye to professional tennis at the end of the Laver Cup, held at the O2 Arena in London from 23-25 September.
Barring sensational and unlikely twists, the King will only play double on Friday evening. His partner should be Rafael Nadal, as the Swiss revealed during the press conference held on Wednesday morning. The last two and a half years have put a strain on Roger’s body and mind, who has not been able to play as and as much as he would have liked due to a severe right knee injury.
The three operations he underwent did not solve the problem, even if the Maestro never abandoned the desire to return to the field. Earlier this summer, the 41-year-old from Basel realized it was time to hang up his racquet.
Guest in the latest episode of ‘The Tennis Podcast’, Ivan Ljubicic recalled the best moments spent alongside Federer.
Ljubicic opens up on Federer
“I think obviously that match in Australia changed his way of experiencing Rafa, I believe.
I think after that match Roger Federer felt more and more confident that he has it on his racket, which wasn’t the case against Rafa fighting for many times before that,” he expressed, adding, “And so, I think after that match he kind of believed more and he played, you know, just tactically also a bit different.”
While Nadal’s last win against the 20-time Grand Slam champion came in the semifinals of the 2019 French Open, former World No. 3 Ljubicic believes that the windy conditions on that day played spoilsport. “I mean, personally I know I’m a perfectionist but I’m very sorry for that semifinal at Roland Garros they played each other.
It was so windy that the match wasn’t a real match, you know what I mean. So I would have, I would have wanted to see him playing Rafa on the equal terms. Not on equal terms, of course it was equal terms, but on the normal conditions,” he said.
“I’m not saying that he would have won, but I think it would have been fantastic match. It was already like this, but I really believe that at that stage, he believed that he could really also hurt him also in clay.
But on other surfaces, he definitely felt superior after that Australian Open and I think results obviously are showing it,” he added.