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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, April 22, 2024

Rafael Nadal's quest for the Cup could be the curtain closer to his glorious career.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal has committed to playing for Team Europe in Laver Cup competition in Berlin this September.

Nadal: Give Everything and Die

It will be Nadal's fourth Laver Cup appearance and may well be the 37-year-old Spanish superstar's farewell to the sport. Nadal has said this 2024 season will likely be his final season.

The king of clay joins a loaded Team Europe squad that includes Wimbledon winner Carlos Alcaraz, former US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and Olympic gold-medal champion Alexander Zverev.

Team Europe aims to reclaim the Cup at Uber Arena in Berlin from September 20-22nd in what is the final Laver Cup for Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg and Team World captain John McEnroe. 


A post shared by Laver Cup (@lavercup)

In his most recent Laver Cup appearance, Nadal partnered friend and rival Roger Federer for his farewell doubles match at the 2022 Laver Cup at London's O2 Arena. 

"I am very happy to be playing Laver Cup in Berlin for Team Europe,” said Nadal. “I have some really special memories from my Laver Cup experiences, including all the emotions from London two years ago playing alongside Roger for the last time.

“At this stage in my career I really want to go out there and make the most of every opportunity I am given. Teaming up is always an incredible experience and I have always enjoyed it, the competition is different and exciting. I’m looking forward to going to Berlin and helping Team Europe win back the Laver Cup.”

Rivals Rafa and Roger stood shoulder-to-shoulder as doubles partners for Federer's farewell in London and shared a good cry together at the end of an era.

“For me, have been huge honor to be a part of this amazing moment of the history of our sport, and at the same time a lot of years sharing a lot of things together,” Nadal said at Federer's retirement. “When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is leaving too because all the moments that he have been next or in front me in important moments of my life. So have been emotional see the family, see all the people.

“Difficult to describe. But, yeah, amazing moment.”

Federer spoke about the deep bond the rivals turned friends built over the years.

“I don't know how we got to this place over all these years, you know. We have been very connected, especially, I feel, especially last 10 years, I'd say,” Federer said. “I think we enjoy each other's company, and we have so much to look back on, but also just enjoy spending time together.

"We have a million topics to cover. I always feel like any evening we ever spent together we never have enough time.”

After bowing in his final match, Federer received a bear-hug from Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini.

Then Federer and Nadal sat side-by-side on the Team Europe bench, clasped hands and shared sobs.

In an interview with Radioestadio Noche, Nadal said seeing Federer get emotional moved him to tears.

"It was a difficult time because I didn't want to cry either,” Nadal told Radioestadio Noche. “It is a moment that he is already there and I am a sensitive person and at that moment seeing him so emotional made it very difficult for me.

“When you see someone you appreciate say goodbye it's hard not to get emotional. It got a little out of hand, and the worst thing is that when I went to the room I just got emotional again. It was difficult for it not to happen because of everything that was lived that night.”

Captain Borg is excited to have Nadal back on his side.

“Rafa is an absolute legend in our sport, a true champion in every sense of the word,” said Borg. “It’s my last year as Captain. Having him on Team Europe this year was a goal of mine and I’m thrilled he has accepted my invitation and will be with us in Berlin.

“He loves playing Laver Cup and is one of the greatest competitors the sport has ever seen. The aim is to win back the Laver Cup and having Rafa alongside Carlos, Daniil and Sascha is an unbelievable line-up for us so far.”

Team World captain John McEnroe announced the first three players to his roster earlier this month – Australian No.1 Alex de Minaur and Americans Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul. All three were part of Team World’s historic first Laver Cup victory in London. Fritz and Paul were also part of the victorious team last year in Vancouver.

Photo credit: Laver Cup