Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal will come together as teammates for the upcoming third edition of the Laver Cup.
The two players were seen joining forces in the opening edition of the tournament in 2017, where they played as doubles partners for the very first time. Delighting visuals of Nadal running towards Federer and embracing him with a warm hug after the latter secured victory for Team Europe are still fresh in the minds of the fans. The idea is to recreate the buzz.
Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg is elated over the confirmation and is looking forward to defending the title for the third time in a row.
"It doesn't get much better for a captain than naming both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the Laver Cup in Geneva. Bringing together two of the greatest players, and rivals, the sport has ever seen, together on one team is very exciting for our sport - and will give us the best possible chance to win the Laver Cup three years in a row," Laver Cup official website quoted Borg, as saying.
"When we first played Laver Cup in Prague, with both Roger and Rafa on the team, we knew it would be very special, bringing together two such great champions. But I think we all underestimated how powerful it would be to see them sitting side by side, coaching each other and cheering each other on, along with their teammates from the player bench," he added.
Laver Cup will be held in Switzerland next year, which is why the tournament holds special significance for Federer. He said that it is good to have Nadal in their team as it would have been a big task for them to face the 17-time Grand Slam winner.
"We've all been blown away by the success of the Laver Cup, which, in just two years, has become so special to all the players who've been involved from both teams. I'm excited captain Bjorn has named both me and Rafa for Team Europe. We had a blast in Prague and it will be very special for me to team up with him again in Switzerland to try and defend our title," Federer said.
"John McEnroe has made it very clear how motivated Team World is to win and we'll need to compete hard to stay undefeated. I know, from lots of first-hand experience, how tough it is to compete against Rafa and it's a huge boost to our team to have him on Team Europe," he added.
Nadal is also looking forward to the event. He said that it is a wonderful experience when all the adversaries come together as a team.
"I'm looking forward to playing the Laver Cup in Geneva next year and am very excited to be named in the team by our captain Bjorn Borg. I will do my best to live up to the great performances we had in Prague last year," Nadal said.
"The Laver Cup is a different event, it brings together players who are adversaries for all of the year, and it's a wonderful experience to come together as a team, to work together, to help each other, and to get to know other players in a new way," he added.
Laver Cup is a three-day tournament which pits six of the top male tennis players from Europe, captained by Bjorn Borg, against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world, led by John McEnroe.
The 2019 edition of Laver Cup will be held from September 20-22 in Geneva, Switzerland.
(With ANI inputs)