Doubles legend Todd Woodbridge has given his thoughts on the doubles pairing of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal ahead of their eagerly-anticipated clash with Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock at the Laver Cup on Friday night.
While Federer and Nadal are greats of the men’s game, Woodbridge has shared his analysis on whether he believes they can gel together in doubles and what will be the key to making their partnership a success against the considerably younger Team World duo.
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“It is great because I love the fact that in a competition like this, doubles is so important to the overall result,” Woodbridge told Eurosport.
“Then, of course, what we have with Roger, finishing his career playing a doubles match is something even more special so it is going to be a big occasion.
Asked how Federer and Nadal will likely try to play in the match, Woodbridge said: “The most important thing when you are trying to put a doubles team together is the gelling of the two styles.
“You are putting two of the greatest players together who will gel together, but that is not always the case. Roger and Rafa have played together before.
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“What we are going to see from them is that Roger is the more comfortable at the net, but Rafa has become one of the best volleyers in the world. We will see Rafa doing damage with his heavy spin from the back of the court, setting up the opportunities for Roger to intercept and take control – that is what they are going to want to do.
“What we are going to keep our eye on is how Roger is moving. That is going to be key. But you see in this combination, he does not have to do a lot of moving because he has got Rafa to back him up.
“I expect that we are going to see a pretty sharp combination, but when you have not played a match for such a long time, like Roger, there are going to be nerves and Rafa is going to have to help him.
“But once again, they have a wealth of experience to draw upon in this match. He will return well and Rafa is going to give him those opportunities. From what I saw in practice, Roger was really sharp.”
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