Roger Federer, maglalaro para sa Team Europe sa Laver Cup bago magretiro

(L-R) Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, captain Bjorn Borg and Switzerland’s Roger Federer during a press conference for Team Europe ahead of the 2022 Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in London on September 22, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Magsasanib puwersa si Roger Federer at ang kaniyang long-time rival na si Rafael Nadal sa Laver Cup sa London ngayong Biyernes.

Ang 41-anyos na 20-time Grand Slam champion, na mayroong knee injury, ay hindi na nakapaglaro mula noong 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finals at noong isang linggo ay inanunsiyo nito ang kaniyang pagreretiro.

Ngunit sa huling pagkakataon ay maglalaro ito para sa Team Europe sa Laver Cup, kung saan magiging ka-partner niya si Nadal sa isang “dream doubles” match laban sa Team World na sina Frances Tiafoe at Jack Sock sa O2 arena.

Bagama’t halos dalawang dekadang naging mahigpit na magkatunggali, magkasamang nagwagi ng 42 Grand Slam singles titles ang Swiss at ang Spaniard sa itinuturing na “golden era” ng men’s game.

Ang pares ay 40 ulit nang nagkaharap, kabilang rito ang siyam na Grand Slam finals.

Britain’s Andy Murray (L) shakes hands with Switzerland’s Roger Federer next to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic (back L) and Spain’s Rafael Nadal (back R) during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in London on September 22, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Ang anim na malakas na Team Europe ay kinabibilangan din nina Novak Djokovic at Andy Murray – ang dalawang iba pang miyembro ng tinatawag na “Big Four.”

Sinabi ni Federer, “Of course, it’s super special playing with Rafa. Feels really different, you know. Also just walking out on court and having the chance to play with the likes of Rafa or Novak also in the past has been an amazing experience for me. So to be able to do that one more time, I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful. I will try my very best. I hope to be good out there, and of course I will enjoy it but it will be hard.”

Ayon naman sa 36-anyos na si Nadal, na may 22 Grand Slam singles titles sa men’s tennis at nakaharap ni Federer sa ATP Tour noong 2004, “I was looking forward to an “unforgettable” match alongside the Swiss. After all the amazing things that we shared together on and off court, to be part of this historic moment is going be something amazing, unforgettable for me.”

John McEnroe looks on after Carlos Alcaraz of Spain defeated Casper Ruud of Norway during their Men’s Singles Final match on Day Fourteen of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Julian Finney/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by JULIAN FINNEY / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Sinabi naman ng Team World captain na si John McEnroe, “Federer’s retirement would leave a ‘void that will never be filled.’ This is beyond belief what him and the other two guys (Djokovic and Nadal) have done. He doesn’t need my advice. He’s in a great position. He’s a total class act. We all know that. He loves the sport. That’s part of why he won so much, in my book. He loves it. I’m hopeful that he, and I believe he will be around it in some way, shape, or form.”

Samantala, si Murray na unang beses pa lamang maglalaro sa Laver Cup ay makakaharap ni Alex de Minaur ng Australia sa pagsisimula ng night session ngayong Biyernes, bago sumabak sa tennis court ang magpartner na si Nadal at Federer para sa doubles event.

© Agence France-Presse

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.