Jannik Sinner and Marin Cilic were the two most notable first-round losers at the Paris Masters, where Taylor Fritz kept his slim ATP Finals hopes alive on Monday.

World number 12 Sinner, the 11th seed in the French capital this week, suffered a straight-sets loss to Marc-Andrea Huesler, as did 15th favourite Cilic against Lorenzo Musetti.

Ninth seed Fritz downed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5 6-2, with Cameron Norrie and Frances Tiafoe also recording straight-sets victories against Miomir Kecmanovic and Lorenzo Sonego respectively.

Victory for Fritz kept the American in the hunt for qualifying for November's ATP Finals in Turin for the first time, needing to reach the final in Paris to overtake Felix Auger-Aliassime or Andrey Rublev.

"Right now I'm just focused on kind of playing myself into the tournament," said Fritz. "I feel like any time this year that I've won a couple of matches in a tournament, then I've done well.

"So I'll just try to focus on these early rounds. Turin is still in the picture, obviously, but there's not much else I really could have done.

"Felix has played really, really well, so he deserves it, but I am going to try to steal his spot this week for sure."

Home favourite Gilles Simon awaits Fritz in the second round at the ATP 1000 event after defeating Andy Murray 4-6 7-5 6-3.

Alexander Bublik and Mikael Ymer played out another three-set battle, with the former triumphing 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-4.

Richard Gasquet, Yoshihito Nishioka, Karen Khachanov, Maxime Cressy, Nikoloz Basilashvili and John Isner were the other first-round winners on the opening day in France.

Stefanos Tsitsipas crashed out of the Vienna Open after losing in a dramatic third-set tie-break against Borna Coric, who claimed his third successive win over the Greek ace.

The second seed was the highest-profile casualty in the Austrian capital on Thursday, as he succumbed to the Croatian once more 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Coric rescued six match points before stunning Tsitsipas at the 2020 US Open, while he also triumphed when they collided in the Cincinnati showpiece in August.

The world number 27's chances of completing a hat-trick of victories appeared bleak at a set and break down, but he rallied to force a decider that went the distance, before holding his nerve for another notable win.

Coric's reward is a quarter-final clash with Hubert Hurkacz, who boosted his chances of qualifying for next month's ATP Finals with a 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over Emil Ruusuvuori.

Daniil Medvedev advanced to the last eight after a 6-3 6-3 victory over home favourite Dominic Thiem. Next up for the top seed is Jannik Sinner after the Italian saw off Francisco Cerundolo 7-5 6-3.

Third seed Andrey Rublev's ATP Finals hopes were dented after a 6-3 6-4 defeat by Grigor Dimitrov, who will play Marcos Giron after the American overcame seventh seed Cameron Norrie in straight sets.

Over in Basel, third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime required just 49 minutes to complete a commanding 6-1 6-0 rout of Miomir Kecmanovic for his 10th straight ATP win.

Meanwhile, Stockholm champion Holger Rune continued his momentum by recording a seventh straight victory after seeing off Ugo Humbert 6-4 6-2.

Sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut enjoyed a straight-sets win over three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray to set up a clash with home favourite Stan Wawrinka, who outlasted Brandon Nakashima in a deciding set.

Stan Wawrinka rolled back the years for a glorious victory over Casper Ruud at the Swiss Indoors, joining fellow veteran Andy Murray in putting on a show in Basel.

Former world number one Murray pulled off a remarkable win over Russian Roman Safiullin, winning five games in a row from 4-1 behind in the final set.

But that was just a tease for the excitement that followed, as Wawrinka, who like Murray won three grand slam titles in his prime, felled second seed Ruud in straight sets.

The 37-year-old Swiss delighted his home crowd with a 6-4 6-4 victory over this season's French Open and US Open runner-up, serving nine aces as he defied a world ranking of 194th to produce some of his old magic.

Murray has fallen away from the elite ,too, but at 49th in the world he is not far away from rejoining that pack, although defeat looked to be beckoning against Safiullin.

The 35-year-old Scot fist-pumped with relief at recovering the break of serve that Safiullin snatched early in the decider, and Murray hit a service winner on his second match point to seal a 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 success.

The victory for two-time Wimbledon winner Murray took him to 26 wins this season, the most he has had in a single campaign since pulling off an astounding 78 victories in 2016, the year he won at the All England Club for a second time, landed a second Olympic gold medal and finished top of the rankings.

Murray said of his win: "As the match went on, I started to dictate a few more points and served better."

Quoted on the ATP website, he added: "I changed the way I was returning a little bit, and when I did that, I was able to create a few more opportunities and frustrate him a little bit."

Pablo Carreno Busta scored a 6-2 6-1 win against Argentinian Sebastian Baez, with Alex Molcan, Dominic Stricker and Botic van de Zandschulp also advancing to the last-16 stage.

At the Vienna Open, Murray's fellow British players Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both went through to the second round, Norrie beating Argentina's Pedro Cachin 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7-1) and Evans fending off Germany's Oscar Otte 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

Canadian left-hander Denis Shapovalov beat Austrian wildcard Jurij Rodionov, but the home crowd had something to celebrate when former US Open champion Dominic Thiem continued his resurgence by eking out a 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) victory against American Tommy Paul, saving two match points.

Andy Murray's run at the Gijon Open came to an end with a three-set loss to Sebastian Korda on Friday, dashing his hopes of a semi-final appearance in Spain.

Murray earned his fourth Tour-level quarter-final spot of 2022 by beating Pedro Cachin, but American Korda defeated the former world number one 6-4 1-6 6-1.

Korda will face Arthur Rinderknech in the last four after he upset second seed Pablo Carreno Busta, taking an epic final-set tie-break to triumph 4-6 6-3 7-6 (18-16).

The other side of the draw will play host to an enticing semi-final meeting between Dominic Thiem and top seed Andrey Rublev after they secured straight-sets wins over Francisco Cerundolo and Tommy Paul respectively.

Thiem said after his 6-4 6-3 triumph over Cerundolo: "From the first match on, I have felt great on this court.

"It is very important for me as I am trying to climb up the rankings. The semi-finals at an ATP event is helping a lot."

Meanwhile, top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Brandon Nakashima 6-3 6-4 to reach the Firenze Open semi-finals, where he will face home favourite Lorenzo Musetti.

The third seed from Italy downed Mackenzie McDonald 6-3 6-2, but fellow seed Alexander Bublik went down 3-6 7-5 6-1 to J. J. Wolf.

Andy Murray overturned a first-set deficit to defeat Pedro Cachin gripping 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-3) and book his spot in the quarter-finals of the Gijon Open.

The three-time grand slam champion lost a 56-minute opening set but showing his trademark doggedness to defeat his Argentine opponent and earn a fourth Tour-level last-eight berth of the season.

It sets the Briton up with a last-eight encounter against Sebastian Korda after the unseeded American delivered the upset of the day to knock out third seed and home favourite Roberto Bautista Agut in a 5-7 6-4 6-4 triumph.

Elsewhere, first seed Andrey Rublev saw off a fightback from Ilya Ivashka to also book his place in the quarter-finals, with his reward a tie against Tommy Paul.

At the Firenze Open, top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime saw off a second set scare from Germany's Oscar Otte, with the Canadian ultimately triumphing 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-2.

He will meet eighth seed Brandon Nakashima, who ran out comfortably in straight sets against Altug Celikbilek with a 6-3 6-4 win.

Third seed Lorenzo Musetti also made smooth work on his own turf, with a 6-3 6-0 demolition job against Bernabe Zapata Miralles, to set up an encounter in the last eight with Mackenzie McDonald.

Andy Murray recovered from a break down in the first set to surge into the second round of the Gijon Open with victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The three-time grand slam champion trailed 4-2 and 30-40 in the opener, but he saved break point with a brilliant volley before going on to hold and take command.

Murray won 10 of the next 13 games thereafter to claim a 7-5 6-2 win, and the former world number one felt Davidovich Fokina's frustration played a key role in the turnaround.

"In the first set, he was playing much better than me," said Murray, seeking his first ATP Tour title since prevailing in Antwerp in 2019.

"He had a lot of chances to get the second break of serve, and I managed to stay tough in those moments. At the 4-3 game, he played a bad game to give me the break back, and after that I started to play a little bit better.

"I think he was a bit frustrated, and then in the second set his level dropped a little bit, but the end of the first set was very important because he was playing very well and it was a difficult first set."

Murray will face either Pedro Cachin or qualifier Alexey Vatutin in the second round. Davidovich Fokina's fellow Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas lost to Ilya Ivashka and Marcos Giron respectively. There was victory for one home hope, though, as Nicolas Alvarez Varona moved into round two.

At the Firenze Open, Alexander Bublik secured his 100th Tour-level win with a straight-sets victory over Cristian Garin, while Mikael Ymer thrashed Tim van Rijthoven 6-1 6-2.

Oscar Otte and Brandon Nakashima were also victors in Florence on Tuesday.

Roger Federer said he felt the pain of Team Europe's first Laver Cup defeat as the World team crashed the Swiss great's farewell party in breathtaking style.

The final event of Federer's playing career veered off the script as he and Rafael Nadal lost in doubles on Friday, before the team collectively succumbed to a 13-8 defeat in London.

Stunning singles wins for Felix Auger-Aliassime and Frances Tiafoe on Sunday, against Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas respectively, followed a doubles thriller that saw Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock topple Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini.

After Team Europe won the first four editions of the Laver Cup, this time they had to swallow the bitter pill of defeat, with Federer sorry to sign off on a losing note.

"Of course I'm disappointed," he said. "I was on the team. I almost lost my voice. My hands hurt from clapping.

"So, yes, I am disappointed. We wish the result would be different. I told Andy [Murray] in the locker room, I don't like losing. It's not fun. It just leaves not the best taste, you know. I think once you have been there and taste success, it's just not the same."

He said his goodbye tournament had been a mix of highs and lows.

"This weekend has been all over the place for me," said the 41-year-old Swiss. "I enjoyed it, but it's unfortunate that we couldn't get the win tonight."

Federer denied he has his eyes set on becoming the next Team Europe captain. Incumbent skipper Bjorn Borg and Team World counterpart John McEnroe have indicated next year's match could be the last that they helm, which would create an appealing vacancy.

"No plans there. Bjorn's doing a great job," said Federer. "Who knows, maybe one day, but we don't have any plans so far."

Next year's match takes place in Vancouver, and Federer will certainly have a role of some sort to play, given he is a co-founder of the event.

"I went through all different types of Laver Cups so far: the first one, the winning teams, now this time on the losing team," Federer said. "There was also one where I was hurt last year but seeing it more from the stands and from the fans' perspective, and now deep on the inside with retirement.

"I have enjoyed the Laver Cup in many different ways, and next year again will be totally different. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm sure Vancouver is going to be fantastic."

Asked what he would miss about tennis, Federer said: "Not the losing press conferences, I tell you that. They are the worst."

Andy Murray insists he is not thinking about retirement following Roger Federer's emotional farewell, and declared he would not deserve anything on a similar scale.

The Briton was on hand for the 20-time grand slam champion's final bow at the Laver Cup on Friday, with both men competing as part of Team Europe.

Federer exited with a doubles defeat, partnering old rival Rafael Nadal, while Novak Djokovic also featured, to mark a tournament reunion for the one-time 'Big Four' of men's tennis.

Injuries and slowing form for Murray saw that moniker slip to the 'Big Three' as Murray faded, and the former world number one says he certainly does not feel worthy of the acclaim afforded to the 41-year-old Federer.

"I certainly won't and don't deserve to have a send-off like that," Murray said, after he and Matteo Berrettini lost their doubles clash to Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock on Sunday.

"Roger did deserve that night. I'm not going to have a farewell match like that. I probably would announce when I'm going to play my last event, but when that is, I don't know."

Murray was adamant he would not be bowing out just yet, however, stating that Federer's retirement had not got him mulling over whether it is time to hang up the racket too.

"I'm really not thinking about that right now," Murray said. "I'm still playing competitive tennis and physically feeling good against top players.

"I just need to start really turning some of these tight losses and close matches into wins. It's as simple as that."

A three-time grand slam winner, Murray is the only men's singles player in history to have two Olympic gold medals, having won titles at London 2012 and Rio 2016 – the latter in the year he also won the ATP Tour Finals as well as Wimbledon for a second time.

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Frances Tiafoe played starring roles as Team World won three matches on the spin on Sunday to claim a first Laver Cup triumph over Team Europe.

Team World went into the final day of action at the O2 Arena in London sitting four points behind their opponents, but they produced a stirring fightback to claim the trophy at the fifth time of asking.

Central to their success was Canadian Auger-Aliassime, who beat Novak Djokovic in singles after successfully teaming up with Jack Sock in the doubles.

Holding an 8-4 lead from Saturday, many expected Team Europe to breeze it from there, but John McEnroe's World team had other ideas and earned a 13-8 victory. 

Up first in the doubles were Auger-Aliassime and Sock, who lost the first set to Team Europe's Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini.

However, the World duo roared back to deliver three points for their team by claiming a 2-6 6-3 10-8 victory.

Djokovic won two matches for Team Europe on Saturday, yet he was powerless to stop Auger-Aliassime in their singles clash. The 22-year-old Canadian landed a 6-3 7-6 (7-3) over the Wimbledon champion.

That moved Team World 10-8 ahead in the overall contest, setting the stage for a decisive clash between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe, with a further three points at stake.

Greek Tsitsipas won the first set, but 24-year-old American Tiafoe stormed back to win an epic tie-break in the second on his way to a 1-6 7-6 (13-11) 10-8 success.

An emotional Roger Federer bid farewell to the game he loves following Friday's Laver Cup doubles loss alongside long-time rival Rafael Nadal, calling his send-off "exactly what I hoped for".

Federer and Nadal went head-to-head with American duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in the 20-time grand slam champion's last ever match, but after taking the first set, the megastars lost a second-set tie-break as well as the match tie-break for a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9 result.

The 41-year-old was then given the stage to reflect on his incredible journey to becoming one of the greatest players to ever grace the court.

After sharing his fear that he would not be able to get any words out due to the emotions of the moment, he said it was a perfect way to wrap up a perfect career.

"It's been a wonderful day," he said. "I told the guys I'm happy, I'm not sad. It feels great to be here, and I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time, and everything was the last time.

"Funny enough, with all the matches, and having the guys, and being here with fans, family and friends – I didn't feel the stress so much, even though I did think something was going to go. Pop a calf, or lock my back or something.

"I'm so happy to make it through, the match was great, I couldn't be happier. It's been wonderful.

"Of course, playing with Rafa on the same team, and having the guys all here, the legends… thank you."

With Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray among those in the Team Europe corner, Federer said it was a special feeling to get to share his finish line with other icons of the sport.

"It's amazing, it really is," he said. "I didn't want it to feel lonely out there… to be saying goodbye in a team, I always felt I was a team player at heart.

"Singles doesn't really do that a whole lot, but I've had a team that travels with me around the world, that's been amazing with them.

"It does feel like a celebration to me. I wanted to feel like this at the end, and it's exactly what I hoped for, so thank you."

When asked to reflect on his legacy and standing in the game, Federer became overwhelmed with emotion, saying "it was never supposed to be that way".

"I was just happy to play tennis, and spend time with my friends really," he said. "And it ends here. It has been a perfect journey and I would do it all over again.

"It's been great. It's been so much fun. It's been amazing."

A tearful Roger Federer bid goodbye to a 25-year career with defeat at the Laver Cup in a doubles contest that went past midnight in London.

Federer teamed with long-time rival Rafael Nadal against American duo Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock as Team Europe face Team World at the O2 Arena.

After winning the first set, the Swiss and the Spaniard were faced with a spirited fightback from Tiafoe and Sock, who won a second-set tie-break before also clinching the match tie-break to seal victory 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9.

There had been a great atmosphere in London on Friday for the fifth edition of the three-day competition.

Federer, 41, had not played a match since he was knocked out of Wimbledon by Hubert Hurkacz at the quarter-final stage last year due to knee injury.

There were huge cheers when Federer and Nadal came onto the court and loud roars for the Swiss great when he came up with his first winner.

There was a sensational moment in the first set when Federer appeared to have won a point after his shot hit the top of the net and bounced in, only for a replay to show the ball had somehow been hit through a small hole between the net and the post, meaning Team Europe lost the point, despite the remarkably unlikely event of the ball passing through such a gap.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were among Federer and Nadal's team-mates offering some tactical input between games, and the legendary duo had to save a first break point of the match before the Spaniard held to put them 5-4 up.

It was two of the all-time greats that took a tight opening set when Sock put a volley into the net, prompting Team World captain John McEnroe to tell his doubles pair they appeared to be getting "caught up in the hoopla." 

A determined Team World managed to level it up after a back-and-forth second set went to a tie-break, with Tiafoe and Sock coming out on top with their superior power and pace.

That took it to a dramatic deciding match tie-break, with every point keeping fans holding their breath, including some trademark Federer magic at 6-7 when he diverted a Sock shot across court for a crowd-pleasing winner.

It looked like the dream script was being followed as Federer served at match point for himself and Nadal, but the former could only hit a shot into the net, before Sock and Tiafoe won the next two points to secure the win for Team World.

It was then hugs all round as respect was paid to the 20-time grand slam winner at the conclusion of a phenomenal career. 

Earlier in the day, Casper Ruud drew first blood for the Team Europe, beating Sock 6-4 5-7 10-7, before Stefanos Tsitsipas doubled their advantage with an emphatic 6-2 6-1 defeat of Diego Schwartzman.

There was drama after the first set of that second singles match when a protester, wearing a T-shirt with the message, "END UK PRIVATE JETS" on, set their arm alight on court before being escorted out by security. 

Alex de Minaur then got Team World on the board with a 5-7 6-3 10-7 success over home favourite Murray before the late-night main event under the lights.

Rafael Nadal is "definitely the next on the list" to retire as middle age catches up with the 'Big Three' of men's tennis, according to Marion Bartoli.

Former Wimbledon champion Bartoli expects Nadal to call it a day in 2023, following the lead of Roger Federer who has chosen the Laver Cup as his farewell tournament.

This weekend's showpiece in London is marking the end of the Swiss great's stellar career, after complications with a knee injury left the 41-year-old resigned to his fate.

Amid the attention on Federer, conversation is turning to how long his great rivals might have left at the top, with Nadal's ongoing foot trouble seemingly making him a prime candidate to step off the tour and give his body a rest.

Speaking to Stats Perform, Bartoli said: "I think he's very much definitely thinking about retirement. His wife is also about to give birth to his first child; that's a huge change in life for anybody.

"And he very much has his fair amount of injuries as well over the years, and especially lately with his foot which is really something that can stop him at any moment from now on.

"I think he will give it another chance at Roland Garros next year, but I don't see him going further than 2023. I think that would be probably about it. I think Rafa is closer to retirement than Novak.

"I think Novak has been able, with being vegan and taking care of his body and obviously because of COVID reasons, he hasn't played that much for the last three years really."

Nadal and Djokovic have inched ahead of Federer on the list of men's all-time grand slam singles champions. Federer was the first to reach 20, but Djokovic has 21 now and Nadal leads the way with a haul of 22 majors.

Bartoli, who was a shock Wimbledon winner in 2013, pointed out that Djokovic, who at 35 is a year younger than Nadal, could have several years left to push the slam record ever higher.

"He monitors those records so badly that I think he will be probably more looking to 2024, maybe 2025 [for his retirement]," Bartoli said of the Serbian. "I think Rafa is definitely the next one on the list."

Bartoli expects Djokovic to finish top of the pile in the men's game, providing he is allowed to compete at future editions of the Australian Open and US Open, having been barred from both in 2022 because of his refusal to accept a COVID-19 vaccination.

"From a tennis analytics point of view, and looking obviously at the strengths of Novak on hardcourts and at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon, it looks like he will end up at the top," said the Frenchwoman.

"But then the problem is about the vaccine, and this is something I just can't reply on. Because if he keeps on having only two chances out of four every single year, that's a totally different story.

"So there is that question mark on such an important thing. If he plays four out of four every single year, yes, I think he will finish on top of everybody. If he can play a full schedule because everything reopened normally then I sincerely think he's going to end up on the top."

Djokovic is hopeful he will be allowed into Australia in January of next year, having been deported from Melbourne at the beginning on this season amid high controversy.

There was previously considered to be a 'Big Four' at the peak of the men's game, but Andy Murray could not keep pace with the slam-winning feats of his rivals.

Bartoli said she remembered how "the whole country exploded" in Britain when Murray won in 2013 at Wimbledon, a first home champion in the men's singles for 77 years.

She was "so happy" Murray could carry on his career after undergoing hip surgery, having at one point planned to retire after Wimbledon in the 2019 season.

Now Bartoli suspects three-time slam champion Murray, 35, could last longer than Nadal on the ATP Tour.

"His fitness level has really improved, so I think he looks to retire for me further than Rafa," Bartoli said. "I think Rafa will be the first one, and probably Andy and then Novak."

Roger Federer looks set to play the final match of his tennis career on Friday after opting to only take part in doubles at the Laver Cup, and has described his great rival Rafael Nadal as his "dream" partner.

Federer is set to join the likes of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – the other members of tennis' 'Big Four' – in representing Team Europe at the O2 Arena in London, but his fitness issues have led to doubts over the extent of his involvement.

On Sunday, fitness coach Pierre Paganini said Federer would make "a last-minute decision" regarding the nature of his participation in the Laver Cup.

Paganini added: "His aim is to play something, though whether it's singles or doubles we'll have to see," and Federer appears to have opted for the latter option.

On Tuesday, Federer told the Swiss press he would only be appearing in doubles at the event, though his partner is yet to be revealed.

"I'm happy and surprised at how good my shots are. But I won't be able to play singles, that was pretty clear beforehand," he told NZZ.

"That's why it was no longer an option to compete at the Swiss Indoors at the end of October. I guess I'll play doubles here on Friday night and that's it."

Nadal, one of just two men's players to have won more grand slam titles than the Swiss maestro (22, also Novak Djokovic with 21) appears the most obvious candidate, with Federer telling SRF: "Maybe I can play doubles with Rafa, that would be an absolute dream."

Asked whether he had any regrets at the end of his career, Federer added: "Of course, there are smaller things, but I can't think of any examples. I see it as an absolute dream career.

"I had a relaxed childhood. If I had been a bit more professional when I was younger, I might have been more successful. 

"But then I might have burned out earlier because it would have been too serious for me." 

The Swiss great, who has won 20 grand slam singles titles, announced last week that he was to retire from tennis after battling knee injuries.

When revealing the end of his career was imminent, Federer said: "I've worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body's capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear".

 

Casper Ruud expects to be "a bit nervous" when he features alongside childhood heroes Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and the retiring Roger Federer at the Laver Cup.

Ruud is the world number two heading into the tournament, which sees Team Europe take on Team World in London, after his efforts at the US Open.

The Norwegian fell just short against Spanish teenage superstar Carlos Alcaraz in the final at Flushing Meadows.

Ruud featured at last year's Laver Cup, held in Boston, and this year is due to join up with the 'Big Four' of Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and Federer, who has announced his impending retirement at the age of 41. The quartet have won 66 grand slam titles between them.

While there are some doubts over whether Federer will be fit enough to play in his farewell tournament, with the action starting on Friday, Ruud is "honoured" to have the opportunity to play alongside his idols.

"It's going to be so special this year, having the biggest four tennis players in my childhood," Ruud said in an interview on the Laver Cup's official website.

"It's going to be an honour. [I'm] probably going to be a bit nervous when I'm out there playing in front of them, but I'll do my best and I'm very happy to be able to represent Europe in front of a crowd full of cheerful fans, and a European bench of legends."

 

Ruud has played six matches against the illustrious quartet who will now be team-mates, winning only once – against Murray in San Diego last year.

The 23-year-old has lost three times to Djokovic and once to Nadal – in the final of the French Open this season – while his sole meeting with Federer, back in 2019 at Roland Garros, went the way of the 20-time major champion.

Federer helped to create the Laver Cup but did not play in the 2021 edition due to injury. He was, however, present to support Team Europe from the stands in Boston.

"I was playing the first match of the whole [2021] Laver Cup against [Reilly] Opelka," Ruud said. "It was the first time they showed Roger on the big screen in TD Garden in Boston, and the whole crowd erupted like I never heard before.

"I can only imagine what it will be like when he's on the team and when he will enter the court."

Federer announced the decision to bring the curtain down on his 24-year playing career on Thursday, having not competed since making the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year.

Andy Murray said it would be "really special" to get one last chance to share a tennis court with Roger Federer after the Swiss star announced his retirement.

The upcoming Laver Cup in London will be Federer's farewell event after he admitted defeat in his battle to overcome a knee problem.

Even Murray is unsure how much of an active part Federer will be able to play in London next week, but he would love to form a doubles alliance with the 20-time grand slam winner.

For many years, Murray was considered a part of a 'Big Four' in men's tennis alongside Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. They were the quartet who dominated the latter stages of the grand slams and the most prestigious regular tour events.

It latterly became known as a 'Big Three' as Murray fell away due to injury, also proving unable to keep pace with the extraordinary major-winning standards set by Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

Federer led the head-to-head 14-11 against Murray, with the Scot getting his biggest win over the Swiss in the 2012 Olympic Games final at Wimbledon.

Three-time slam champion Murray said of Federer: "Obviously he was an amazing player. I was lucky to get to compete against him in some of the bigger matches, in the biggest tournaments, on the biggest stages in our sport.

"At the time I probably didn't appreciate it as much but looking back it's pretty amazing. It's incredible what he achieved and also what Rafa and Novak have done as well."

Federer announced his retirement on Thursday, and while Murray said that marked "a sad, sad day for the sport", he was keen to celebrate "an unbelievable career".

There is an irony about Murray wishing Federer well in retirement, given Federer did likewise with Murray in January 2019, when it seemed the former Wimbledon and US Open champion was destined to hang up his racket. A new hip has allowed Murray to unexpectedly continue on tour.

Murray said of Federer: "The longevity he's had and what he did, the way that he played the game, conducted himself, all of those things. All of the players respected him for that.

"I don't know how much he'll be able to play [at the Laver Cup], I haven't spoken to him about that, but maybe I get to share a court with him in doubles or something like that, and that would be really special."

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