You read it right! Archrivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will play tennis as teammates this time. The duo announced that they will play doubles at the inaugural Laver Cup, tennis counterpart for golf's Ryder Cup, which is set to begin next year. Will their team-up be the right formula for a golden pair?
Having faced each other at least more than 34 times, 10 of which in the Grand Slam tournament since 2006, Federer and Nadal (currently world's no. 3 and 4 respectively), knew each other like the back of their hands. The question is, will the two athletes with contrasting play-style be able to combine their strategies as singles players to doubles effectively?
Federer is a versatile all-around and all-court player. He can play on the baseline or on the net--on every type of court. He hits powerful and accurate smash and with excellent footwork to cover the court effectively, and his wide range of weapons also includes serve and volley and his serves which is clocked at up to 220 km/h (Is he even human?)
On the other hand, Nadal is an aggressive player behind-the-baseline armed with powerful topspin groundstrokes. With his speedy footwork and wide court coverage, he formulates his counterattack plays while on the defensive line and hits a very fine dropshot.
"I was always facing the big forehand," Federer said in a press briefing for the said tournament at the New York's St. Regis Hotel on Wednesday, as reported by Wall Street Journal . "[Now] I can say, 'Hit one more,'" he added.
Federer bases his plays on techniques while Nadal relies more on power.
"It will be very, very special," Nadal said. It seems like we are not the only one looking forward to their doubles tag team.
Watch: Federer and Nadal's nerve-wracking tie-breaker in Wimbleton (2008)
The Laver Cup, named in honor of the great Australian player Rod Laver, will be a three-day team competition (composed of six players), pitting the Europe tennis squad "against the rest of the world," explained Associated Press. It is scheduled yearly but will skip the year of the Olympics, and would be composed of 12 matches (nine singles, three doubles), to be done on a three-set match with a 10-point tiebreaker. The inaugural Laver Cup will be held in Prague on September. 22-24, 2017, indoors at the O2 Arena.
Simply put, it is a gathering of the best tennis players in the world allowing fans to watch them play in a way they have never done before. Looks like another history is being made in the world of tennis.