Novak Djokovic joked about taking Roger Federer out by hitting him in the lower back while playing doubles. Both legends lost in their first foray as doubles partners, but it all was in the fun of the event.
Playing doubles for Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic was a completely new experience for the two legends, and both the exhilaration and awkwardness showed, losing in a tie break third set to Team World’s Kevin Anderson and Jack Sock, 6-7, 6-3, 10-6, giving Team World their breakthrough win on day one of the Laver Cup.
But did it really matter?
The spectacle of tennis legends Federer and Djokovic teaming up was a tantalizing prospect once the lineup was announced. They started out spectacularly and watching the two display camaraderie proved infectious.
But there were moments of hilarity as well, like the time that the Serb whacked a ball to Fed’s back, which prompted some to say he was trying to take the Swiss out of the game.
“I apologized right away,” Djokovic said afterwards courtside. “It didn’t look that great.”
But that’s OK, he made sure Federer got a back rub afterwards.
Federer and Djokovic didn’t prove to have the same magic as the 20-time slam champ and great rival Rafael Nadal, but still the two relished playing together and it was a fascinating spectacle to watch.
“It was a lot of fun. I want to thank Roger for playing with me,” Djokovic said according to the LA Times. “I loved it. Obviously I wanted to win as much as Roger. But those guys came up with some big shots.”
“To team up with somebody of his caliber is just a treat you know,” Federer added.
They even drank like twins!
The world Nos. 2 and 3 didn’t produce the slam dunk outcome everyone was expecting, but Sock and Anderson were just too good.
“It’s like using different part of your brain,” Federer said of doubles, according to ESPN. “It’s similar [to singles] but not the same. Like speaking a different language.”
“It was great to play with Roger, it was great fun. We talked a lot of strategies on the bench,” said Djokovic according to MSN.
Like this strategy session, that prompted this funny tweet.
“We have always had plenty of respect for each other, now that will be strengthened. But this kind of quality time is like no other,” explained the reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion.
And they’re clearly having lots of fun hanging out together.
Federer even took time to coach Djokovic on the sidelines in the Serb’s match against Anderson on day two.
The Laver Cup concludes on Sunday. If you’re tennis fan and not watching this, you’re missing out on the most fun event the sport has to offer.
Federer headlines both a doubles and a singles match on the final day—where matches count triple—and Alexander Zverev, John Isner, Jack Sock, Nick Kyrgios, Djokovic, and Anderson all have matches to determine who will win the Laver Cup, Team Europe or Team World.
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