Roger Federer partnering Rafael Nadal? You may dismiss that as wishful thinking, but it could materialise into reality when the Laver Cup starts on Friday.
What’s the Laver Cup, you ask?
Announced in August 2016, the tournament is tennis' answer to golf's Ryder Cup where the best players in the world will take on a team containing the best in Europe in a three-day tournament.
The wins won’t fetch the players any ATP points, but will still have the likes of Federer and Nadal taking the court.
Here’s all you need to know about the Laver Cup:
What are the teams?
There will be two teams in this tournament that is being held to honour Rod Laver. Captained by Bjorn Borg and with Thomas Enqvist as vice-captain, Team Europe will have Nadal, Federer, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych. Standing across the court will be Team World, captained by John McEnroe and with Patrick McEnroe as his deputy. Sam Querrey, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Juan Martin del Potro, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe are part of the team.
When will it be played? And where?
The Laver Cup, being held for the first time ever, will take place from Friday (22 September) to Sunday (24 Sept) on an indoor hard court at Prague’s O2 Arena.
How will the tournament work?
On Friday and Saturday, there will be two sessions. The day session will feature two singles matches and the night session will feature a singles and a doubles match. Sunday’s session—the deciding session—will feature from one to five live matches (whatever it takes to decide the winner).
Each match will be a best-of-three sets match. The third set will be a 'champions tie-break' of first to 10 points. If the teams are tied at the end of the first 12 matches then a final best of one set doubles match will be played, according to The Telegraph.
More importantly, each match on Friday is worth a point while Saturday’s matches fetch a team two points. Three points will be awarded to a team winning a match on Sunday.
Is there a possibility of Rafa and Roger partnering?
Here’s what Federer had to say about it: “I've played a lot against Rafa on so many occasions, in big matches," Federer said at Prague's picturesque Old Town Square. “I think in nine Grand Slam finals. Finally, to have him on my side it's a joy. We talked about playing doubles a long, long time ago. It never happened. Of course, I would love to share the side of the net this time around. We have to see how practice goes and then at the end Bjorn will take the ultimate decision.”
His on-court arch-rival, Nadal, said: “Of course, I would love (to play with Federer), It will be amazing if that happens. We've talked about that years ago to play in some tournament together. It didn't happen yet. We're looking forward to playing here, hopefully. Let's see if the captain allows us to play.”
The final call will be taken by captain Borg, who is yet to decide how to form pairs for doubles, but suggested "there's a very good chance" for Federer and Nadal.
Where and when can you watch the tournament live on TV?
All the matches will be shown live by Dsport. On Friday and Saturday, matches will start from 4.30 pm IST while Sunday’s matches will start from 3.30 pm IST.
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Updated Date: Sep 21, 2017 19:22:35 IST