Roger Federer’s stellar comeback season is almost complete and he is now preparing for the Laver Cup, a competition that has been conceptualised and put in force by him and his manager, Tony Godsick.
The Laver Cup will bring together legends of the sport and categorise them into two teams, Team USA and Team Europe. Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will be captaining the two teams and Federer hopes that all the legends together can create a wonderful tennis atmosphere during the event.
Speaking about Bjorn Borg’s influence on him and the tennis world, Federer very candidly confessed that he was probably the one player that he would like to go back in time and play against.
“I mean, I have incredible respect for him. I feel like if I could play one player ever going back, I feel like it would be Bjorn. I feel he’s that incredibly good, for what he did for the game. If I look how he played, what he brought to it, it’s crazy.” Federer said.
Federer then went onto talk about Bjorg’s demeanour on and off court and how it is a privilege to spend time with him whenever possible.
“For me to spend time with Bjorn, it’s quite rare” Federer said.
“He doesn’t spend so much time on the tour. When he shows up, it’s short. I feel every minute you get with him is a privilege. Here we are, he’s going to be stuck with us. So it’s going, I think, to be very special for all of us, particularly me.” Federer added.
Federer acknowledged the fact that the Laver Cup was possible only because all players agreed to come on board and how thankful he was to them for this gesture.
“So okay, enough of Bjorn. But Rafa [Nadal], he’s been such a wonderful champion and a good friend of mine on the tour, one of my big rivals for life, that it’s just nice to be able to spend some time with him and support him.
If I can help him, great. If he can help me, even better. Finally, after all these years, I get a chance to actually support his forehand, his aggressive play, his everything, his fighting spirit. Everything before was always like, ahh, another forehand and another fighter.
At the same time we have all the younger guys on the team who we’re going to hopefully support, as well, come up with hopefully a winning game plan. I’m happy that all the tickets sold out. I played in that arena years ago in the Davis Cup.
It’s a wonderful arena. I’m sure it’s going to be really successful. I can’t wait for it to come around soon enough.’ In February Federer called it a ‘tough event’, because he and other players want to perform at their best in order to make sure that fans get their best experience: ‘I feel the likes of Rod Laver and other legends of the game have marked our sport in such a big way and it should never be forgotten.” the world number 2 said.
He had high words of praise for Rod Laver and how he deals with current crop of players, always encouraging them to do more for the sport and for themselves.
“I’ve gotten to know Rod over the years. He’s a lovely man and he’s been incredibly supportive of our generation of players, too.
He always comes and watches us play. That’s when the idea came about to sort of pay tribute to the likes of Rod Laver and then also the present and also the future coming through. I think getting all the generations together I think is a wonderful thing.
And playing in honor of the great Rod Laver at the Laver Cup now is only 30 days away, basically. It’s really exciting, because I have been talking about this event with Tony and my team and my friends for almost three years now.
It’s upon us now, and it’s incredibly exciting, announcing the teams here and seeing who the captains are and Björn Borg and John McEnroe. You can imagine, it’s like a fairy tale to see it all come together.” Federer concluded.