Roger Federer makes a surprise visit to Boston to check in on the Laver Cup.
How much does Rod Laver’s legacy mean to Roger Federer? Consider this: Even after undergoing his fourth knee surgery since 2016, after being limited to just 13 matches in 2021 and forced to sit out one of his favorite events, the Laver Cup, the 20-time major champion made his way from his home in Basel, Switzerland to Boston to celebrate the Australian legend.
“It’s really important that we remember it because we have a really rich history,” Federer, 40, told CNBC on Friday morning. “Rod Laver was a hero to us, especially Bjorn Borg, also to John [McEnroe]. To me, he’s that big legend that was able to win two times the Grand Slam, winning all four majors in the same year.”
“He’s also the one who went from amateur sports to professional sport, so that’s where the idea came in that we could do something for the legacy of the game and incorporate all the young ones coming through and learning from the best, like John and Bjorn, for example, having rivals become teammates,” added Federer, one of the Team Europe vs. Team World competition’s co-founders. “I think the first three editions have been wonderful in Prague, Chicago and Geneva. And now finally we’re here in Boston starting today.”
Federer was part of the first three editions of Laver Cup, famously teaming with career-long rival Rafael Nadal in doubles in 2018 in Prague. It was Federer, along with his agent, Tony Godsick, who dreamed up the three-day, six-on-six Laver Cup concept while driving back from the Shanghai tournament in 2015.
The Borg-captained Team Europe will put its perfect 3-0 mark on the line beginning at 1 p.m. EST on Friday when Norway’s Casper Ruud faces American Reilly Opelka in a battle of first-time Laver Cup participants