Inside Team Europe: Federer and Nadal swap coaching tips
Roger Federer won’t forget Day 2 of the Laver Cup 2019. The day “Rafa saved him,” to use his own words.
Invigorated by the world N°2’s words of wisdom, whispered into his ears, and boosted by the amazing support of the 17,200 spectators at Palexpo Arena, the Swiss maestro delighted his home crowd as he produced a thrilling performance against Nick Kyrgios, beating him in a match tiebreaker amid a breathless atmosphere.
“I had goosebumps during the game. I can’t deny that,” said the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
“I’m not immune to it. I’m just very happy that I get to feel this in my home country.
“If I would have retired a long time ago, I wouldn’t have this moment right now today, so it was worth it maybe because of a moment like this also to stay on the tour.
“The house almost came down, it was that loud. So that was something very special for me.”
The Swiss star also acknowledged the importance of Nadal’s input when he was 7-6 5-4 down and on the brink of defeat.
“Rafa saved me today,” confessed Federer.
With the precious coaching of his longtime rival and friend, Federer regained confidence and managed to turn the match around.
“I really enjoy his clarity in his advice. He gives you self-assurance. He’s a great problem/solution-finder, how to get through that,” added Federer.
“He’s not scared of changing a winning tactic, and he’s also a big believer in investing. You know, and I do similar things, so it’s very enjoyable to hear him speak, especially during the game.”
Federer returned the coaching service in the night session when Nadal took on Team World’s Milos Raonic and managed to extend Europe’s lead to 7-3.
“All the players help each other. Roger and I have a good relationship and we know each other very well after playing so many times against each other,” explained Nadal.
“So it’s great to have him telling me things, as well as Bjorn, Thomas or any player really because sometimes things from outside are more clear than from inside. I am happy and lucky to be in such a great team.”