Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Federer, Djokovic on same side of the court

Published:Friday | September 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM
In this January 28, 2016, file photo, Roger Federer (left) of Switzerland and Novak Djokovic of Serbia, pose for a photo ahead of their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne.

CHICAGO (AP):

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have played against each other 46 times. From Monaco to Shanghai and everywhere in between. Regular, run-of-the-mill tournaments and major finals.

Tonight, they play on the same side of the net for the first time.

Federer and Djokovic will close out the first day of the second edition of the Laver Cup when they take on Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson in doubles at the United Center. Federer and Djokovic are playing for Team Europe, while Sock and Anderson are competing for Team World in the Ryder Cup-style event.

"We have had so many great battles in all the singles courts, and to finally team up together I think is going to be very special for both of us," Federer said yesterday. "I think we still have to talk over it a little bit exactly maybe either who's going to take the lead or, you know, how do we play exactly."

The pairing of Federer and Djokovic adds a little spice to an event long on star power and light on any real stakes. While world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro are out with injuries, the Laver Cup has seven of the top 11 players in the ranking and 10 of the top 20.

But it arrives at the home of the NBA's Bulls and NHL's Blackhawks just a couple of weeks after Djokovic beat del Potro in the US Open final for his 14th Grand Slam title. There are no majors left this year and the next big tournament isn't until next month in Shanghai.