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Top 5: Iconic Laver Cup Moments featuring Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
From Fedal joining forces to competitors turned coaches, the men's team event has made plenty of headlines over the years.
Published Sep 21, 2022
WATCH: Federer's pre-Laver Cup press conference
Roger Federer playing his last match? To say it’s going to be hard for any past or future editions of the Laver Cup to top what’s set to occur this weekend is an understatement.
In a way, though, it’s par for the course at the competition that pits teams Europe and World against each other: noteworthy moments that generate a buzz rarely heard in the tennis world. Here’s a look at five of them, from fan dreams to history being made.
“Fedal” Takes the Court
Federer vs. Rafael Nadal has been one of the greatest rivalries in all of sport, with two of the most prolific champions in men’s tennis battling for majors and the top spot for more than a decade. But what would happen when they’re on the same side of the court? What might have seemed like a fairytale actually took place at the Laver Cup’s first edition in 2017, when Team Europe put the two out there against Sam Querrey and Jack Sock. “Fedal” managed to come away with the win, topping the Americans in a match tiebreak.
March Madness comes to the Laver Cup
During the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in the mid-2010s, another battle was taking place between the teams on the sidelines, it seemed, as far as celebrating the on-court action went. Team World—full of sports fans—brought their own choreography to the Laver Cup in 2017 when cheering on their squad mates, having what seemed to be a ton of fun in the process.
Coaching Careers in the Future?
When Fabio Fognini played Sock in 2019, he was able to get some advice from a couple of players who know the game quite well: Federer and Nadal were both in the Italian’s ear at the changeovers. It might have been too much advice from a couple of legends, though, as Fognini was unable to pull off the match.
Borg and McEnroe: A Rivalry Renewed
They didn’t get to take each other on as much as anticipated during their playing days, but since the start of the team event, Bjorn borg and John McEnroe have faced off as captains of teams Europe and World, respectively. McEnroe has been unable to get a win against his counterpart in this arena, with Europe coming out on top every year.
Honoring a Legend
The event is named after none other than Rod Laver, the only two-time calendar-year Grand Slam winner in history. The Aussie great has been visible throughout the event’s history, from promoting it to being a part of the celebrations, such as handing the trophy to last year’s champions, symbolizing a union of the game’s past, present and future.