Andy Murray hoping for ‘special’ final chance to play with Roger Federer in Laver Cup

Andy Murray is longing to share a court with Roger Federer for one last time at the Laver Cup in London next week after admitting that it was difficult to appreciate the enormity of playing the Swiss at the time of their four Grand Slam and Olympic finals.

Federer ended up shading their personal head-to-head in competitive matches 14-11, including wins in the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open finals, but, following news of his retirement, Murray said that he felt fortunate rather than regretful to have his career coincide with the three greatest men’s players in tennis history. Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have won 63 Grand Slam titles between them and, in what will be fitting a finale to perhaps the most extraordinary era in any sport, they will be European team-mates with Murray at the O2 Arena from Friday.

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic stand side by side – SHUTTERSTOCK© Provided by The Telegraph

“I don’t know how much he [Federer] will be able to play,” said Murray, who last played Federer competitively in 2015. “Maybe I get the opportunity to share a court with him in doubles or something like that, and that would be really special. I was lucky to get to compete against him in some of the biggest matches, in the biggest tournaments, on the biggest stages in our sport.

“At the time I probably didn’t appreciate it as much, but now, like, looking back, it’s incredible what he achieved. An amazing player. Unbelievable career. The longevity… the way that he played the game, conducted himself. It’s a sad, sad day for the sport.”

Murray may face another goodbye in Glasgow on Sunday when Great Britain complete their 2022 Davis Cup campaign with what is effectively a ‘dead’ tie against Kazakhstan following their exit from the competition on Friday night against the Netherlands. Great Britain captain Leon Smith had picked Murray and Joe Salisbury, the world No 1 doubles player, for the deciding doubles matches against the United States on Wednesday and then the Netherlands on Friday but they were beaten both times in a deciding third set.

         Andy Murray looks dejected after defeat against Netherlands in Davis Cup – PA© Provided by The Telegraph

Murray admitted that he does not know whether he will get to play Davis Cup again given both his age now at 35 and the emergence of three other British players in Jack Draper, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans inside the world’s top 50. As well as Salisbury, Britain also have Neal Skupski among the top three doubles players in the world.

The Davis Cup has moved to a new format this year and the big flaw is evident in how the round robin group will now conclude at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on Sunday with a match between two countries who can no longer qualify for the last eight in Malaga in November. “I have not met a player that loves playing dead rubbers and dead matches,” said Murray. “It’s difficult to get motivated. The way that we have lost these two matches as well makes that even tougher.

“It’s a slight flaw with this format in that you have essentially, on the Sunday, on the final day, no tennis. Well, there’s tennis, but it’s kind of dead, irrelevant. That’s what brings the energy and the passion I think from the fans and the players.”

Smith, who led Britain to their Davis Cup victory in 2015 during his 12 years as captain, is also under scrutiny for his team selections with what was the most in-depth British men’s squad for a generation. Murray had played only two doubles tournaments in the past three years – including the Olympics with Salisbury – but is convinced that they can develop into a world-class pair. “No regrets,” said Smith. “We came in with it with some thoughts, and we stuck with that.”


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