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Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, September 20, 2024

Before Roger Federer was a Laver Cup competitor, he created the Laver Cup concept.

These days, the Swiss Maestro largely limits his playing to hitting with his kids, but Federer does dream of one future in the sport he loves. 

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Federer's future role: Laver Cup captain.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer is in Vancouver for this weekend's Laver Cup and shared his dream of serving as Laver Cup captain in the future.

“I like being in the tennis sphere,” Federer told the media at Rogers Arena in comments posted on the official Laver Cup website. “Maybe one day, I’ll be the captain of the team.

"There’s no plans as of now, but I think that could be quite nice.”

Federer's Laver Cup captaincy could be sooner than he suggests.

In an ESPN Zoom call with the media last month to promote ESPN's US Open coverage, Hall of Famer John McEnroe called on the Tour to provide more support to Laver Cup and said either this year or next will be his last as captain. McEnroe said in the next year or two Laver Cup will feature new captains. 

"I love Laver Cup. I idolize Laver, Roger Federer. Never going to meet a classier individual than him," McEnroe said. "I believe that the Laver Cup should be preserved.

"My days are numbered; I've been doing this for a while. They're going to get new captains soon, in the next year or two. It's been a lot of fun, but it's got to be supported by everyone in the sport, and I don't believe it has the total support, whether it's the ATP -- we don't want to get into the politics of it.

"Sometimes scheduling is an issue with players, whether they're going to Asia or whether there's a Davis Cup. It seems like -- it's frustrating to feel like -- because the goal was to try to make it like golf's Ryder Cup where everyone was waiting until the last minute to see who was hottest, but everyone was available, and it doesn't seem to be the case now. It's tougher to get everyone committed."

Former world No. 1 Federer is pumped for the doubles pairings this weekend.

“I get very excited about Laver Cup doubles, because there are usually teams that we haven’t seen in the past so I would like to maybe see Hurkacz and Rublev play together,” Federer said. “On the World side, there’s tons of doubles teams with Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz …

"I just like superstar combinations.”

The 42-year-old Swiss superstar stood shoulder-to-shoulder with rival and friend Rafa Nadal in his tearful farewell to tennis at the 2022 Laver Cup in London's famed O2 Arena.

One of the most touching Laver Cup moments spotlighted the power of human touch in a fitting Fedal farewell in London. The iconic champions held a match point, but could not close as Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe edged Federer and Nadal in a thriller last September.

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.”

Eight-time Wimbledon winner Federer has greeted players as they arrive in Vancouver and though he has friends on both sides of the court, Federer says he's firmly in Team Europe's corner as they play to regain the Laver Cup from McEnroe's Team World squad.

"There’s something in me that’s Team Europe,” Federer said. “I’m happy if World wins, don’t get me wrong — but somehow, I can feel it deep inside, I want Europe to win.”

Photo credit: Laver Cup Facebook