Roger Federer Credits Laver Cup For Blossoming Friendship With Players At The ATP Finals

Roger Federer Credits Laver Cup For Blossoming Friendship With Players At The ATP Finals
Participants of this year's Nitto ATP World Tour Finals (photo by Alberto Pezalli)

LONDON: 19-time grand slam champion Roger Federer believes the inaugural Laver Cup has helped formed a better bond between the top players on the ATP Tour.

The three-day team exhibition took place earlier this year at the O2 Arena in Prague. Players from Europe formed one team to take on others from the rest of the world. Similar to Golf’s Ryder Cup. Team Europe was victorious in the competition, prevailing 15-9.

Several of those participants are present at this week’s season-ending Nitto ATP Finals. Co-founder Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and Jack Sock. This time the players are battling against each other at the prestigious event, which has a prize money pool of $8 million

“I do feel like the Laver Cup has made us get to know each other a bit better.” Said Federer. “I mean, we have each other’s telephone numbers now, all of us. That wasn’t the case beforehand.’
“We see each other all the time, so it’s nice to kind of be able to connect if you wanted to with the guys.”

Making his record 15th appearance in the ATP Finals, Federer notices a difference in the atmosphere between him and his rivals. Last week at the official opening ceremony at the Tower of London, the 36-year-old explained that he was relishing in the moment.

“I felt like at the ATP ceremony and the official presentation, I did feel a sort of camaraderie, cool rivalry, but yet friendship going on, which I think is nice to see.” Reflected the world No.2.
“We are all together on the boat. We’re all hanging out, all talking to each other. I’m not sure if that was always the case in previous years.”

Critics argue why this friendship has taken so long to come to fruition. Especially for Federer, a player who has won 95 ATP titles over a 16-year period and has been part of some of the greatest ever rivalries of the sport.

“It’s not that we didn’t get along, but we didn’t know each other that well, to be quite frank.” He explained.
“I see good things being carried over by the Laver Cup without forgetting at the end of the day we are rivals, as well.”

Federer will resume his campaign at the ATP Finals on Tuesday night when he takes on Zverev. It will be the third meeting between the two players this season with the head-to-head level at 1-1.

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