The Laver Cup has been nominated for a Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year. Here’s why …
It was a match that stopped the tennis world. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal teaming in doubles to represent Europe at the inaugural Laver Cup. Plotting, planning, playing and celebrating what turned out to be a heart-stopper against the World’s Sam Querrey and Jack Sock
The contest near raised the roof at the O2 in Prague on September 23. The notion of rivals becoming teammates was a dream come true.
The partnership between tennis’ top two players is one of the nominees for Sporting Moment of the Year at the Laureus Sports Awards in 2018.
It’s one of six moments that fans can vote for in December, and, if successful, it will join the four other winners of monthly fan votes – dating back to August – as contenders for the overall award.
“This was the sport’s equivalent of a solar eclipse,” came the review of the moment at mylaureus.com, where fans can vote.
Nadal and Federer inhabit an exclusive space in the tennis world. They’re the sport’s two most loved champions, with the biggest fan bases and the weightiest CVs. No player owns more major singles titles than Federer (who has 19) and Nadal (16), and they’re currently the world’s top two players, 12 years after they first occupied those positions.
Seeing them team up was unprecedented, as it would be in any sport. Yet it happened in Prague at the Laver Cup, and it proved a winning combination. Federer and Nadal overcame Americans Sock and Querrey 6-4 1-6 [10-5] in a thrilling match on the second day of the inaugural competition.
“Federer and Nadal began with a hiccup or two; Nadal nearly decapitated Federer when he reached back for an overhead,” mylaureus.com reported.
But the match, played before a sold-out crowd at Prague Arena and followed by millions more around the world, will be remembered for the ultimate victory to ‘Fedal’ and watching the two greats joyously celebrate their victory together.
“Was unforgettable day for both of us. After all the history that we have behind us, like rivals, to be together the same part of the court, fighting for a team is something that I think we really enjoyed a lot,” Nadal said.
“The possibility to have Roger next to me is, yeah, a huge privilege. Is something that for sure I want to make that happen at some point, and today was the ideal day to make that happen, no?”
Added Federer: “We only ever practiced once together, back at the World Tour Finals, I think. So we don’t practice a lot. We don’t show stuff to each other a lot. And we will always and forever be rivals as long as we are active.
“This was something very special. It’s been an absolute pleasure sharing the court with Rafa on the same side of the net. Knowing you can trust him in the big moments, seeing his decision-making, seeing his thought process was very interesting.
“I will take these memories for a lifetime, for sure.”
The Laureus Sports Awards will be staged in Monte Carlo, Monaco on 27 February 2018.
The December Laureus Best Sporting Moment of the Year vote closes on January 2, 2018 and is open to the public in an online poll.