Ruud honoured to play alongside Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and retiring Federer at Laver Cup

·2-min read

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."

Roger Federer has won 20 grand slam titles
Roger Federer has won 20 grand slam titles

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.