After spending so many great years fighting on the biggest stages while taking their sport to unexpected levels, Roger Federer He hopes to play the final match of his remarkable career against old rival Rafael Nadal in doubles. “Absolutely. There’s no doubt,” Federer said on Wednesday after being asked if he would be interested in partnering Nadal.

“To be able to go through the careers we’ve both been through and come out on the other side and be able to have a good relationship can be a big message not only for tennis, but for sports and maybe beyond.”

He announced his retirement last week. At the Laver Cup in London, Federer said he could only compete in doubles due to knee surgery.

He will play one match on Friday, the opening day of the tournament, and will take place after more than 1,500 matches and 20 Grand Slam titles since its inception in 1998.

“I was in a very nervous, scary place to face the music, the media, the fans and everything,” Federer said. “Just being able to talk about it in a normal way without getting emotional because I know how much it means to me.”

No retirement is easy, but for Federer the final stages are particularly complex. It goes down as his last singles match A terrible defeat by Hubert Hurkacz In last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals, the knee gave out after winning the third game 6-0.

Federer underwent surgery in August and began his recovery with the goal of returning to full competition, only for more complications to arise.

“You start to get really desperate. Then I get a scan back that isn’t what I want it to be. At some point, you sit down and go: ‘Okay, we’re at an intersection, it’s an intersection, and you have to take a turn. Which way is that?’ I wasn’t willing to go in the direction of risking it all. I’m not ready for that.

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For a long time, he was known and known how to avoid serious injuries. He said he always thought he would have retired without surgery, but has had to settle for three knee surgeries starting in 2020. He says he doesn’t feel pain during games, but the mental scars that helped guide him over the years have left him. He retired.

Despite considering announcing his retirement before the US Open, Federer decided to show up and end on the right note. The Laver Cup event, owned by management company Team8, was a fitting venue. In London O2 Arena, where he won two of his ATP Finals titles, and where he ended his career at Wimbledon in 2003 after winning his first major championship and eight men’s Wimbledon titles.

“All the guys around made me feel like I wasn’t the only one wondering about my retirement,” he said. “Not that I want to hijack this event or anything, but sometimes on the tour I always feel sorry for the players who retire, ‘I’m going to play one more game,’ and then you lose one more time and you’re standing there. All alone.”

That won’t be the case in the final episode. “Here I am trying to prepare for one final doubles, and we’ll see who it is with,” he said. “I’m nervous going in because I haven’t played that long. I hope to be somewhat competitive.

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