Roger Federer swept to Wimbledon men's singles glory a record eight times, but the Swiss was almost turned away on an impromptu trip to the All England Club last month.

Having retired from professional tennis in September, Federer has more time on his hands than usual and during a visit to London he decided to pay the famous venue a visit.

Singles champions at Wimbledon become honorary members of the club, but it turns out the membership card they are given is rather important, particularly when security insist on seeing it.

Federer posted a picture of the Wimbledon trophy on social media on November 25, with the caption: "Nice to see you again."

It turns out it was quite an effort to get into the grounds before he took that snap, with Federer telling Daily Show host Trevor Noah this week how much of an ordeal it proved to be.

The 41-year-old said: "I have not really been at Wimbledon when the tournament is not on, so I drive up to the gate, where usually guests come in, where you would arrive and then you go up. I get out and tell my coach who was with me at the time, Severin, I tell him I'll quickly go out and speak to the security lady, I got this. I did not.

"So then I get out and I'm like, 'Yes, hello, I was just wondering how I can get in to Wimbledon? Where is the door? Where is the gate?'. She [says], 'Do you have a membership card?'. I'm like, 'Uh, we have one?'."

Doors usually open for Federer, a 20-time grand slam champion, but this one looked like being closed to him, despite his many past successes on the famous grass courts.

He won at Wimbledon each year from 2003 to 2007, before adding titles in 2009, 2012 and 2017. Still, it helps to have a membership card to enter a members' club, as the security official made clear.

Federer said: "I tell her normally when I'm here I'm playing and there's loads of people and I come in in a different way and it's the first time I'm here while the tournament's not on and I don't know where to get in so, 'I'm just asking you again, where can I get in?'.

"She's like, 'Well at the side, but you have to be a member'. So I look at her one last time and I'm in a panic now."

This was where Federer reluctantly played the 'don't you know who I am?' card.

"I'm so sorry, I still can't believe I said that, I still feel bad about it, and I look at her and I was like, 'I have won this tournament eight times. Please believe me, I am a member and where do I get in?'," he said.

He moved along to seek a different way in, and this was where his luck turned.

"I get out of the car and a random person walks in the walkway and said, 'Oh Mr Federer, I can't believe you're here at Wimbledon! Can we take a selfie?'," Federer said.

"I'm like, 'Yes! Let's take a picture!'. And the security guards that are there are like, 'Oh my God, Mr Federer, what are you doing here? Do you have your membership card?'."

Federer did not. This time, however, his luck was in.

"I'm like, 'No I don't, but is it possible to get in?'," he said. "[And they said] 'Of course we'll open the door, let me organise it'."

Although he was unable to play due to injury, Federer made a fleeting appearance at Wimbledon in 2022 at a line-up of champions to mark 100 years of Centre Court.

Roger Federer believes the intense tennis tour schedule can have a negative impact on the mental health of players.

Federer, now retired, won 20 grand slam titles between 2003 and 2018 before stepping away from the sport in September of this year, and he is well aware of the challenges players face.

A number of big-name stars have spoken out about their mental health, including Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios, and Federer feels the packed tennis calendar does not help players.

"When players retire at a super young age, I totally understand it," Federer told a press conference in Tokyo. "The tour is tough... travel, practice, jetlag.

"Nobody is allowed to say, 'Oh, I'm tired today', because it looks like you're weak, and that's why players end up having sometimes mental problems.

"You're supposed to show strength. But we're also not machines, we’re also just human beings."

Federer played on the tour for 25 years before calling it a day, and he is making the most of being able to finally relax, saying: "As a tennis player you're always thinking about your next practice, your next match. It never lets you go.

"I don't think I was that much aware of it, how much that thought is always there, and it rides with you, until you retire and then you realise that stress all drops away."

He pointed to doping tests, and the fact players must constantly make authorities away of their whereabouts.

"We have to fill out the doping forms every single day, one hour during the day, where you are," Federer said. "You're always aware in the back of your head, they could be coming any moment, especially in that hour.

"Once that all drops away you actually feel quite lighter, relieved that you can actually live normally again after 25 years."

Novak Djokovic wants to replicate Roger Federer's emotional farewell by having all his tennis rivals present when he brings down the curtain on his own career.

Federer played his final top-level tennis match in last week's Laver Cup when partnering long-time rival and friend Rafael Nadal in doubles competition

Djokovic and Andy Murray, two of Federer's other great adversaries, were also part of the 41-year-old's side at London's O2 Arena.

Despite boasting an all-star cast of talent, Team Europe fell to a first ever defeat against Team World, yet it was Federer's teary send-off that made the headlines.

And Djokovic, who has no current plans to retire, would like to share a similar moment at the end of his playing days.

"It was just a very touching, very emotional moment," Djokovic told reporters ahead of his second-round match against Pablo Andujar at the Tel Aviv Open.

"Seeing his kids and his family, it got me emotional as well. I also must say I was thinking about how it would look for me when I say goodbye to tennis.

"There is definitely one thing that I will wish to have, other than, of course, my family and the close people in my life, I would love to have my biggest rivals and competitors there. 

"Because it added something more special; it added more importance to that moment."

Federer retires as a 20-time grand slam winner – one fewer major title than Djokovic, who is himself one behind men's record holder Nadal.

With Federer now out of the picture, Djokovic says Nadal remains his biggest rival on the court.

"We played the most matches against each other of any other rivalry in the history of tennis," he said. "The rivalry is very special and keeps going. 

"Hopefully, we'll get a chance to play against each other more times. Because it's exciting for us and also for tennis fans and sport fans around the world."

Lionel Messi should be appreciated by fans of all countries at the World Cup as he will be missed like Roger Federer "and more" when he retires, says Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.

Messi scored twice from the bench in Argentina's 3-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday, their penultimate friendly before Qatar 2022.

The Albiceleste head to the finals as one of the favourites, having won the Copa America last year.

That was Messi's long-awaited first major international honour, and this could be the 35-year-old's last chance to win a World Cup, having lost in the 2014 final.

Although the Paris Saint-Germain superstar remains on top of his game, scoring six goals across his past four matches for club and country, Scaloni knows he cannot go on forever.

And the Argentina boss expects Messi's eventual retirement will be received with the same outpouring that met tennis legend Federer's decision to quit the sport last week.

"[Messi] is like Federer," Scaloni said after the Jamaica game.

"He retired and what happened when he retired? Everybody [was] excited, everybody is thinking, 'he won't be here anymore, he's not going to play anymore'.

"How many of us would like to see Federer play tennis? Because it was wonderful to watch him play. The same will happen with [Messi] and more, because football is a sport that moves much more.

"So, let's enjoy him. Everyone enjoys him regardless of the country, it's wonderful to see him.

"I have the possibility of training him, but I would be a fan, I would pay a ticket to see him and I would buy his shirt, regardless of the country.

"So, the only thing left is to enjoy him, because I don't know if something like this will ever be repeated. So, you have to enjoy him and nothing else."

Roger Federer said he felt the pain of Team Europe's first Laver Cup defeat as the World team crashed the Swiss great's farewell party in breathtaking style.

The final event of Federer's playing career veered off the script as he and Rafael Nadal lost in doubles on Friday, before the team collectively succumbed to a 13-8 defeat in London.

Stunning singles wins for Felix Auger-Aliassime and Frances Tiafoe on Sunday, against Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas respectively, followed a doubles thriller that saw Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock topple Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini.

After Team Europe won the first four editions of the Laver Cup, this time they had to swallow the bitter pill of defeat, with Federer sorry to sign off on a losing note.

"Of course I'm disappointed," he said. "I was on the team. I almost lost my voice. My hands hurt from clapping.

"So, yes, I am disappointed. We wish the result would be different. I told Andy [Murray] in the locker room, I don't like losing. It's not fun. It just leaves not the best taste, you know. I think once you have been there and taste success, it's just not the same."

He said his goodbye tournament had been a mix of highs and lows.

"This weekend has been all over the place for me," said the 41-year-old Swiss. "I enjoyed it, but it's unfortunate that we couldn't get the win tonight."

Federer denied he has his eyes set on becoming the next Team Europe captain. Incumbent skipper Bjorn Borg and Team World counterpart John McEnroe have indicated next year's match could be the last that they helm, which would create an appealing vacancy.

"No plans there. Bjorn's doing a great job," said Federer. "Who knows, maybe one day, but we don't have any plans so far."

Next year's match takes place in Vancouver, and Federer will certainly have a role of some sort to play, given he is a co-founder of the event.

"I went through all different types of Laver Cups so far: the first one, the winning teams, now this time on the losing team," Federer said. "There was also one where I was hurt last year but seeing it more from the stands and from the fans' perspective, and now deep on the inside with retirement.

"I have enjoyed the Laver Cup in many different ways, and next year again will be totally different. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm sure Vancouver is going to be fantastic."

Asked what he would miss about tennis, Federer said: "Not the losing press conferences, I tell you that. They are the worst."

Andy Murray insists he is not thinking about retirement following Roger Federer's emotional farewell, and declared he would not deserve anything on a similar scale.

The Briton was on hand for the 20-time grand slam champion's final bow at the Laver Cup on Friday, with both men competing as part of Team Europe.

Federer exited with a doubles defeat, partnering old rival Rafael Nadal, while Novak Djokovic also featured, to mark a tournament reunion for the one-time 'Big Four' of men's tennis.

Injuries and slowing form for Murray saw that moniker slip to the 'Big Three' as Murray faded, and the former world number one says he certainly does not feel worthy of the acclaim afforded to the 41-year-old Federer.

"I certainly won't and don't deserve to have a send-off like that," Murray said, after he and Matteo Berrettini lost their doubles clash to Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock on Sunday.

"Roger did deserve that night. I'm not going to have a farewell match like that. I probably would announce when I'm going to play my last event, but when that is, I don't know."

Murray was adamant he would not be bowing out just yet, however, stating that Federer's retirement had not got him mulling over whether it is time to hang up the racket too.

"I'm really not thinking about that right now," Murray said. "I'm still playing competitive tennis and physically feeling good against top players.

"I just need to start really turning some of these tight losses and close matches into wins. It's as simple as that."

A three-time grand slam winner, Murray is the only men's singles player in history to have two Olympic gold medals, having won titles at London 2012 and Rio 2016 – the latter in the year he also won the ATP Tour Finals as well as Wimbledon for a second time.

Roger Federer "made the whole world dream" through his tennis, French football great Zinedine Zidane said on Saturday.

The Swiss superstar contested his final match on Friday night in London, as he bowed out at the age of 41, accepting knee trouble in recent years would not allow him to carry on.

Zidane's last match as a player famously ended in a headbutt, a red card and crushing disappointment in the 2006 World Cup final, as France lost out to Italy on penalties in Berlin.

That was a far cry from the celebratory scenes at the O2 where 20-time grand slam winner Federer exited in a hail of adulation and high emotion, as the man from Basle broke down in a flood of tears on court.

The poignancy came after Federer lost alongside Rafael Nadal in a Laver Cup doubles clash with Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe, a low-stakes occasion compared to Zidane's swan song.

Both Zidane and Federer played their sport with maverick and artistic tendencies that set them apart from many of their peers, while also winning a stack of trophies.

Zidane had two spells as Real Madrid boss after hanging up his boots following a playing spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, and he hopes there are great opportunities awaiting Federer too.

"Today you are stepping into another world. I wish you a second part of life as rich as the first," Zidane wrote on Instagram.

"Thank you Roger, you made the whole world dream! And you remained profoundly the same. Thank you Roger, the great class."

Roger Federer has thanked fans and fellow players for providing him with a "magical" send-off at the end of his glittering professional career on Friday.

The 20-time grand slam champion brought the curtain down on his incredible career in a doubles match alongside Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London, facing off against American duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

Although Federer and Nadal fell to a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9 loss, the Swiss maestro was given a hero's reception at the O2 Arena, and old rival Nadal joined him in shedding a tear after the match.

Immediately afterwards, Federer joked he was simply glad to have avoided injury and described his career as a "perfect journey".

Federer then expressed his appreciation for everyone involved on Saturday, writing on Twitter: "It was a magical evening yesterday. 

"Thank you again to all the players and fans who were here to share this moment with me. It means the world."

Speaking at a news conference after his send-off, Federer described it as "all happiness".

"The match, yes, in itself, sure, is special," he said. "But it's really everything that happened after, because I wasn't aware who was going to come to sing, what was going to happen, where I should go, what was expected of me, or how long it was going to go.

"Then I guess looking around and seeing how everybody got emotional, obviously it's even better, or even worse, I'm not sure what to say.

"The last two days have been tough to say the least. Thankfully, in moments, I totally forgot about it, slept great, everything was wonderful, I could enjoy it. 

"Because of that, I think I will be able to have a better recollection of how it went, because if it's all just stress throughout and I want it to be only perfect, I know I will remember half of it.

"I didn't have fireworks in my head where I see my career flashing by, all the things I'm going to miss. It was hard for me making phone calls, letting people know that this decision is happening. There I felt pain, but now, tonight was all happiness."

Meanwhile, Federer has refused to rule out taking part in exhibition matches in the future, stating his desire to allow more of his fans to see him in action one last time.

"The message from me was just making sure I relay my passion for the sport to the fans, and I let them know that hopefully we'll see each other again on a different type of tennis court," he added.

"I have no plans whatsoever, where, how, when. All I know [is] I would love to go and play places I have never played before or go say thank you for years to come to all the people that have been so supportive of me.

"Because the hard part about the Laver Cup was that tickets were already sold out. The people who maybe would have also loved to be here couldn't make it. 

"Maybe there is another way down the stretch we can party all together."

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Laver Cup after being paired with Roger Federer for the final match of the Swiss star's career on Friday.

Federer had announced he would be retiring following the tournament and was then only fit to feature in one doubles match.

But that gave the Swiss great the opportunity to team up with Nadal, with the duo falling to a narrow and entertaining 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9 loss to Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the O2 Arena.

That defeat marked the end of Federer's involvement in the Laver Cup, and Nadal's participation is over for this year, too.

Nadal has been dealing with an abdominal injury in the second half of this season, with the issue notably seeing him miss a Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.

However, the Laver Cup, announcing the Spaniard's absence from the weekend's play on Saturday, made no reference to any ailment, saying he had pulled out "for personal reasons".

Cameron Norrie took Nadal's place in the tournament and was set to face Taylor Fritz.

A tearful Rafael Nadal said "an important part of my life is leaving" after partnering Roger Federer for the final match of the Swiss great's career at the Laver Cup in London.

The last match of Federer's career saw him partner with his great rival Nadal to play doubles for Team Europe on Friday, taking on American duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the O2 Arena.

Despite taking the first set, Nadal and Federer ultimately fell to an entertaining 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9 loss before watching a series of tributes to the Swiss maestro, who also had an on-court interview and was embraced by his team-mates, opponents, family and friends.

Nadal, one of just two male players with more grand slam wins than Federer's 20 (22, also Novak Djokovic with 21), was seen to be in tears as he sat next to the retiring star during the post-match tributes.

During the match, he also showed signs of nerves due to the scale of the occasion and later declared he would hugely miss his long-time rival. 

"It has been a difficult day to handle every single thing, and at the end everything became super emotional," Nadal said. 

"For me, it has been a huge honour to be a part of this amazing moment of the history of our sport. 

"When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is leaving too because of all the moments that he has been next to me or in front of me in important moments of my life.

"So, I have been emotional to see the family, see all the people. Difficult to describe, but amazing moment."

An emotional Roger Federer bid farewell to the game he loves following Friday's Laver Cup doubles loss alongside long-time rival Rafael Nadal, calling his send-off "exactly what I hoped for".

Federer and Nadal went head-to-head with American duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in the 20-time grand slam champion's last ever match, but after taking the first set, the megastars lost a second-set tie-break as well as the match tie-break for a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9 result.

The 41-year-old was then given the stage to reflect on his incredible journey to becoming one of the greatest players to ever grace the court.

After sharing his fear that he would not be able to get any words out due to the emotions of the moment, he said it was a perfect way to wrap up a perfect career.

"It's been a wonderful day," he said. "I told the guys I'm happy, I'm not sad. It feels great to be here, and I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time, and everything was the last time.

"Funny enough, with all the matches, and having the guys, and being here with fans, family and friends – I didn't feel the stress so much, even though I did think something was going to go. Pop a calf, or lock my back or something.

"I'm so happy to make it through, the match was great, I couldn't be happier. It's been wonderful.

"Of course, playing with Rafa on the same team, and having the guys all here, the legends… thank you."

With Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray among those in the Team Europe corner, Federer said it was a special feeling to get to share his finish line with other icons of the sport.

"It's amazing, it really is," he said. "I didn't want it to feel lonely out there… to be saying goodbye in a team, I always felt I was a team player at heart.

"Singles doesn't really do that a whole lot, but I've had a team that travels with me around the world, that's been amazing with them.

"It does feel like a celebration to me. I wanted to feel like this at the end, and it's exactly what I hoped for, so thank you."

When asked to reflect on his legacy and standing in the game, Federer became overwhelmed with emotion, saying "it was never supposed to be that way".

"I was just happy to play tennis, and spend time with my friends really," he said. "And it ends here. It has been a perfect journey and I would do it all over again.

"It's been great. It's been so much fun. It's been amazing."

A tearful Roger Federer bid goodbye to a 25-year career with defeat at the Laver Cup in a doubles contest that went past midnight in London.

Federer teamed with long-time rival Rafael Nadal against American duo Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock as Team Europe face Team World at the O2 Arena.

After winning the first set, the Swiss and the Spaniard were faced with a spirited fightback from Tiafoe and Sock, who won a second-set tie-break before also clinching the match tie-break to seal victory 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9.

There had been a great atmosphere in London on Friday for the fifth edition of the three-day competition.

Federer, 41, had not played a match since he was knocked out of Wimbledon by Hubert Hurkacz at the quarter-final stage last year due to knee injury.

There were huge cheers when Federer and Nadal came onto the court and loud roars for the Swiss great when he came up with his first winner.

There was a sensational moment in the first set when Federer appeared to have won a point after his shot hit the top of the net and bounced in, only for a replay to show the ball had somehow been hit through a small hole between the net and the post, meaning Team Europe lost the point, despite the remarkably unlikely event of the ball passing through such a gap.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were among Federer and Nadal's team-mates offering some tactical input between games, and the legendary duo had to save a first break point of the match before the Spaniard held to put them 5-4 up.

It was two of the all-time greats that took a tight opening set when Sock put a volley into the net, prompting Team World captain John McEnroe to tell his doubles pair they appeared to be getting "caught up in the hoopla." 

A determined Team World managed to level it up after a back-and-forth second set went to a tie-break, with Tiafoe and Sock coming out on top with their superior power and pace.

That took it to a dramatic deciding match tie-break, with every point keeping fans holding their breath, including some trademark Federer magic at 6-7 when he diverted a Sock shot across court for a crowd-pleasing winner.

It looked like the dream script was being followed as Federer served at match point for himself and Nadal, but the former could only hit a shot into the net, before Sock and Tiafoe won the next two points to secure the win for Team World.

It was then hugs all round as respect was paid to the 20-time grand slam winner at the conclusion of a phenomenal career. 

Earlier in the day, Casper Ruud drew first blood for the Team Europe, beating Sock 6-4 5-7 10-7, before Stefanos Tsitsipas doubled their advantage with an emphatic 6-2 6-1 defeat of Diego Schwartzman.

There was drama after the first set of that second singles match when a protester, wearing a T-shirt with the message, "END UK PRIVATE JETS" on, set their arm alight on court before being escorted out by security. 

Alex de Minaur then got Team World on the board with a 5-7 6-3 10-7 success over home favourite Murray before the late-night main event under the lights.

A protester set their arm alight on court after breaching Laver Cup security at London's O2 Arena on the day of Roger Federer's final tennis match.

The incident occurred after the first set of the singles contest between Team Europe's Stefanos Tsitsipas and Team World's Diego Schwartzman.

The person who dashed onto the indoor court was wearing a white T-shirt that carried the message, "END UK PRIVATE JETS".

Another item on the court was also ablaze by the time security reached the person.

The protester put out the flames on their right arm, while a tournament official quickly smothered the fire on the court.

The End UK Private Jets campaign group said on its Twitter page: "Kai, 20, set their arm on fire at #LaverCup. The liveable climate of our planet is collapsing. No one is taking it seriously. Is humanity not worth saving? Let's get into resistance against this death machine."

Swiss great Federer was due in action later in the day in doubles, teaming up with Rafael Nadal for the last match of his career, as they took on Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

 

Rafael Nadal is "definitely the next on the list" to retire as middle age catches up with the 'Big Three' of men's tennis, according to Marion Bartoli.

Former Wimbledon champion Bartoli expects Nadal to call it a day in 2023, following the lead of Roger Federer who has chosen the Laver Cup as his farewell tournament.

This weekend's showpiece in London is marking the end of the Swiss great's stellar career, after complications with a knee injury left the 41-year-old resigned to his fate.

Amid the attention on Federer, conversation is turning to how long his great rivals might have left at the top, with Nadal's ongoing foot trouble seemingly making him a prime candidate to step off the tour and give his body a rest.

Speaking to Stats Perform, Bartoli said: "I think he's very much definitely thinking about retirement. His wife is also about to give birth to his first child; that's a huge change in life for anybody.

"And he very much has his fair amount of injuries as well over the years, and especially lately with his foot which is really something that can stop him at any moment from now on.

"I think he will give it another chance at Roland Garros next year, but I don't see him going further than 2023. I think that would be probably about it. I think Rafa is closer to retirement than Novak.

"I think Novak has been able, with being vegan and taking care of his body and obviously because of COVID reasons, he hasn't played that much for the last three years really."

Nadal and Djokovic have inched ahead of Federer on the list of men's all-time grand slam singles champions. Federer was the first to reach 20, but Djokovic has 21 now and Nadal leads the way with a haul of 22 majors.

Bartoli, who was a shock Wimbledon winner in 2013, pointed out that Djokovic, who at 35 is a year younger than Nadal, could have several years left to push the slam record ever higher.

"He monitors those records so badly that I think he will be probably more looking to 2024, maybe 2025 [for his retirement]," Bartoli said of the Serbian. "I think Rafa is definitely the next one on the list."

Bartoli expects Djokovic to finish top of the pile in the men's game, providing he is allowed to compete at future editions of the Australian Open and US Open, having been barred from both in 2022 because of his refusal to accept a COVID-19 vaccination.

"From a tennis analytics point of view, and looking obviously at the strengths of Novak on hardcourts and at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon, it looks like he will end up at the top," said the Frenchwoman.

"But then the problem is about the vaccine, and this is something I just can't reply on. Because if he keeps on having only two chances out of four every single year, that's a totally different story.

"So there is that question mark on such an important thing. If he plays four out of four every single year, yes, I think he will finish on top of everybody. If he can play a full schedule because everything reopened normally then I sincerely think he's going to end up on the top."

Djokovic is hopeful he will be allowed into Australia in January of next year, having been deported from Melbourne at the beginning on this season amid high controversy.

There was previously considered to be a 'Big Four' at the peak of the men's game, but Andy Murray could not keep pace with the slam-winning feats of his rivals.

Bartoli said she remembered how "the whole country exploded" in Britain when Murray won in 2013 at Wimbledon, a first home champion in the men's singles for 77 years.

She was "so happy" Murray could carry on his career after undergoing hip surgery, having at one point planned to retire after Wimbledon in the 2019 season.

Now Bartoli suspects three-time slam champion Murray, 35, could last longer than Nadal on the ATP Tour.

"His fitness level has really improved, so I think he looks to retire for me further than Rafa," Bartoli said. "I think Rafa will be the first one, and probably Andy and then Novak."

Rafael Nadal is thrilled to have the chance to play alongside the retiring Roger Federer in the Laver Cup on Friday.

Swiss ace Federer will partner fellow all-timer Nadal in the doubles, the man from Basle bringing an end to an illustrious career in the company of his greatest rival.

The prospect of being a team-mate on court with Federer in London is something that will be "unforgettable" for Nadal.

"After all the amazing things that we shared together on and off the court, to be part of this historic moment, it's going to be something amazing and unforgettable for me," Nadal said in Thursday's press conference.

"I hope I can have a good time playing at a decent level and hopefully together we can create a good moment and maybe win a match.

"But I hope that the crowd will be supporting a lot. I'm super excited to be here with the team and of course to be on the court and having Roger next to me one more time will be something that I am very looking forward to.

"We were able to create an amazing rivalry together, and on the other hand, something that we are probably very proud [to have had], I have been a friendly rival which is not easy sometimes because we are playing for such important things for our tennis careers.

"But at the same time, we were able to understand that in the end personal relationships are more important than sometimes professional things, and we were able to handle it I think the proper way.

"Tomorrow it's going to be a special thing. I think it will be difficult to handle everything, especially for Roger, without a doubt, but for me too. One of the most important players, if not the most important player, in my tennis career is leaving and to leave at this moment will be difficult."

Federer is also looking forward to the match and partnering with Nadal, though he concedes it will be a difficult test as the Team Europe pair tackle Team World's Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.

"Of course, it's super special playing with Rafa," Federer said.

"It feels really different. Also just walking out on the 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'll try my very best and I hope to be good out there. And of course, I'll enjoy it but it will be hard."

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