Roger Federer played Laver Cup with Rafael Nadal in 2017 and Novak Djokovic in 2018. Now it’s the Spaniard’s turn again. The Swiss drew differences between Nadal and Djokovic. “For me it was emotional to spend a week around Nadal and Djokovic.
You spend a week with Rafa and you look at his intensity. How can he find a balance? Because otherwise you get crazy. When his training session ends, he is relaxed. I was surprised by how he always looks for chances. He returns from behind and forward, with slice and top spin.
Also Djokovic, he is relaxed. We are similar. In order to have success you have to be relaxed. We play so many matches – from 50 to 100. It’s not like boxing where you have one or two matches a year. Five minutes before the match, you have to relax.
What I was surprised the most about Djokovic is his clearity when he wants to win a match. He is like, This is how I play, so I will have success. Also his process: how and when to eat. Everything needs to be right. I respect it so much.”
About his other teammates, Federer added: “Thiem says yes to everything. He is so relaxed, even in dealing with media. That’s a fact. Zverev is still young and learns, but he is very open and relaxed. I do not know very well Tsitsipas, so I am intrigued at seeing how he is this week.
Fognini is so relaxed. Rafa is an incredible teammate. He only needs to train enough. He needs to take one more hour. We are in the same hotel while Team World stays at another hotel. There are nights where we go eating together. I think it’s great to sit around the table with Stefanos, Sascha, Thiem and Rafa. We also have coffees.”