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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal confirm doubles plans in blockbuster pairing

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ROGER FEDERER and Rafael Nadal have been confirmed for the fifth edition of the Laver Cup.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will join forces once again at this year’s Laver Cup. The pair are the first players to be announced for the fifth edition of the Ryder Cup-style team event, this year taking place in London’s O2 Arena. Federer has been out since last July after undergoing a third knee surgery and recently gave an update on his recovery, but now looks set to return by September at the latest alongside long-time rival and friend Nadal, who is coming off the back of a record 21st Grand Slam title win in Australia.

Federer and Nadal will be joining forces on Team Europe for the third time in Laver Cup history.

The Swiss star has been a staple of the team every year except 2021, when he was sidelined after a third knee surgery.

Nadal joined the squad in the tournament’s inaugural year in 2017, playing doubles alongside Federer in Prague, and again in 2019 when the rivals acted as coaches for one another during their matches in Geneva.

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Federer and his TEAM8 management company co-created the event to honour Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, following a Ryder Cup-style format which sees Team Europe take on Team World in a three-day event, with points up for grabs on each match win.

Federer has been out of action since last July, announcing he would be undergoing a third knee surgery in the space of 18 months after suffering a “setback” with his ongoing injury during the grass-court season.

The 40-year-old has been able to offer little indication of a comeback, recently admitting he would be able to tell in April or May after his training intensity was allowed to go up, but now looks set to return by September for the Laver Cup, taking place from September 23 to 25 in London.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back into competition later this year and Laver Cup is very much part of my plan. It’s no secret that I love the event and I’m super excited to be returning to The O2 and to London, one of the greatest cities in the world,” the current world No 30 said of his participation at the team event later this year.

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And the pair look set to team up on the doubles court five years after their first outing in Prague.

Speaking on their potential partnership in London, Federer added: “Rafa is an incredible person and an inspiration to me and countless others around the world. He messaged me on social media after the Laver Cup in Boston last year suggesting we play doubles in London and I am definitely up for a Laver Cup ‘Fedal’ comeback!”

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And Nadal echoed his rival’s sentiment, as he was confirmed for his third Laver Cup appearance off the back of winning a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on Sunday, overtaking the previous record of 20 shared with Federer and Novak Djokovic.

“The Laver Cup is such a unique event and I’ve loved competing in it,” the newly-crowned Australian Open champion said.

“I suggested to Roger we should play doubles together in London and he seems keen, so now we just need to persuade our captain Bjorn!”

The world No 5 also admitted it would be special to team up at least once more as the pair reach the latter stages of their respective careers.

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“Roger has been a huge part of my career, a big rival and also a true friend. To be part of Team Europe together is great and if we’re able to possibly share the court one more time as a doubles pairing then this would be a truly special experience for us both at this stage in our careers,” he added.

And Federer is already looking forward to being reunited with the Spaniard in London, tweeting shortly after the Laver Cup’s announcement on Thursday.

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The former world No 1 reposted the announcement with a series of Emojis including the eyes, a ‘soon’ arrow and two European flags.