Tennis greats Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will put their epic rivalry to one side when they team up together for the Laver Cup.
The competition will see world No 1 Nadal and 19-time Grand Slam champion Federer play for Team Europe against a Rest of the World side in Prague.
It’s been an incredible tennis year with the duo able to turn back the clock and share the four Grand Slams between them.Tennis LiveLiveStefano Travaglia 0 v 1 *Adrian Ungur
Their rivalry has stretched 13 years and 37 matches with Nadal, back on top of the world rankings for the first timeÂ in three years, with a 10th title at the French Open and third at the US Open forming part of his 16-Slam portfolio.
Federer captured the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles and with a 2017 record of five titles, 39 match wins and just four losses, the evergreen Swiss remains at the very top of his game at the age of 36 with 19 major titles.
The dominant Spaniard leads their head-to-head record 23-14, but they will put their on-court rivalry aside when they team-up for the first time.
“After all these years I actually get a chance to support his forehand, his aggressive play, his fighting spirit, his everything,” said Federer after the announcement of the Laver Cup teams. “He’s been a wonderful champion for our sport.
“I think Rafa brought something to the game that we really haven’t seen that much before, or not at all. The amount of spin he was able to bring to the game or the physicality and his movement on clay.”
Nadal said of Federer: “I’ve never seen anybody with all the ingredients that Roger has. Big serve, big forehand, movement, the slice, but at the same time he plays with unbelievable elegance.”
The pair had not met since 2015 before this year’s epic Australian Open final where Federer prevailed, winning 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 38 minutes.
In their 37th and last meeting to date, it was Swiss maestro Federer who claimed the Miami Open crown and made reference to their first-ever meeting, at the same venue, away back in 2004 when a 17-year-old Nadal beat a 22-year-old Federer.