Murray backs Federer as future Laver Cup captain, Latest Tennis News - The New Paper

Murray backs Federer as future Laver Cup captain

LONDON - Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray said he hopes Roger Federer will stay involved in tennis as he heads into retirement but suggested the Swiss great is so gifted that coaching other players might prove difficult.

Federer, 41, claimed 20 Grand Slam singles titles, ripped up the record books and is widely regarded as the best player ever to wield a racket.

Murray was part of Team Europe as Federer bade a tearful farewell to tennis on Friday having announced that the Laver Cup in London would be the last tournament of his 24-year career.

The Swiss great has hinted that he would like to play exhibition events but has been guarded about the chances of moving into coaching at some point in the future.

"I'm sure if he was to coach one day, which he obviously doesn't need to - he'd pick players that I'd imagine he'd be motivated to be coaching in the big matches and helping there," Murray, who lost three Grand Slam finals to Federer, said at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

"The one thing that is I think difficult when you are as talented... as him is to remember that not everybody can do the things that he did. He had the ability to play everything and he had so many options at his disposal that that's the challenging thing also as a coach."

Novak Djokovic expressed his hope that Federer would turn his hand to coaching, saying: "I think that Roger can offer a lot.

"I mean... it's logical to expect him to be able to share so many useful and valuable things... If he ever would consider doing that, I'm sure that he's going to bring a lot of positive things."

Murray said it had been an emotional night on Friday when Federer played alongside Rafael Nadal in what was the Swiss' last match.

"Was lucky to be here and be present for Friday night," Murray said, although he admitted when he finally decides to retire, it might be a less memorable affair.

"I'm really not thinking about that right now. I certainly won't and don't deserve to have a send-off like that," Murray said.

"Roger did deserve that night, and it was super special."

Federer declined to say what his plans are, when asked on Sunday, but said being Laver Cup captain was not on the radar, despite Murray championing that idea.

He said: "No plans there. Bjorn (Borg's) doing a great job. Thomas (Enqvist) as well, supporting him all the way. It's been great fun. Who knows, maybe one day, but we don't have any plans so far."

Frances Tiafoe stole the spotlight from the 41-year-old on Sunday with a dazzling win over Team Europe's Stefanos Tsitsipas that gave Team World their first Laver Cup title, ending Federer's hopes of finishing his career by lifting another trophy.

Roger Federer (left) played alongside Rafael Nadal in what was the Swiss' last match on Sept 24, 2022.

Two days after he and Jack Sock beat Federer and Nadal in a tearful farewell for the Swiss great at the O2 Arena, American showman Tiafoe saved four match points against Tsitsipas before roaring to a 1-6, 7-6 (11-13), 10-8 victory.

Tiafoe's win, worth three points for his team, gave John McEnroe's Team World an unassailable 13-8 lead, having started the day trailing 8-4 and staring at a fifth straight defeat in the event co-founded by Federer.

Team World enjoyed a super Sunday as Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime stunned 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

Earlier, Auger-Aliassime had partnered American Sock to a 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 win against Briton Murray and Italian Matteo Berrettini.

Tsitsipas had the chance to take the match to a deciding singles match, but Tiafoe showed tremendous guts in a gripping second-set tiebreak. "It's an unbelievable feeling," Tiafoe, who reached the US Open semi-final, said on court.

"Jonny Mac was dropping F-bombs all week saying we need to get it down this year.

"It wasn't just me but I showed a lot of heart to get this done. I was getting my ass kicked for a while but I kept going. This is big, we're going to celebrate big tonight." - REUTERS, AFP

Roger FedererANDY MURRAYnovak djokovic