Federer, Nadal happy to play doubles

Spain's tennis player Rafael Nadal, center, throws a ball to fans during a welcome ceremony of the Laver Cup at the Old Town square in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday. (AP)
Updated 20 September 2017
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Federer, Nadal happy to play doubles

PRAGUE: With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup team tennis tournament, expectations are running high about the chance of seeing the two as doubles partners.
The three-day competition at the O2 Arena in Prague starts Friday, pitting a team of the best six European players against the top six from the rest of the world. No ATP rankings points will be awarded.
Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych are also on the European team to face Sam Querrey, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe.
The tournament is to honor Rod Laver, an 11-time major champion who won two calendar-year Grand Slams. It will include three singles and one doubles match every day. Bjorn Bjorg captains Europe while John McEnroe does the same for the opponents.
Federer and Nadal were clear about their choice of a possible partner.
“I’ve played a lot against Rafa on so many occasions, in big matches,” Federer said at Prague’s picturesque Old Town Square. “I think in nine Grand Slam finals. Finally, to have him on my side it's a joy. We talked about playing doubles a long, long time ago. It never happened. Of course, I would love to share the side of the net this time around. We have to see how practice goes and then at the end Bjorn will take the ultimate decision.”
Nadal concurred.
“Of course, I would love (to play with Federer),” Nadal said. “It will be amazing if that happens. We've talked about that years ago to play in some tournament together. It didn’t happen yet. We’re looking forward to playing here, hopefully. Let’s see if the captain allows us to play.”
Borg has yet to decide how to form pairs for doubles, but suggested “there’s a very good chance” for Federer and Nadal.
“He’s the captain, he’s the boss here now,” Nadal said. “I am just here to try my best, every time the captain wants me on court, I am just here to try to help the team to win the Laver Cup.”
Federer warned a victory was not a given even though the two are currently ranked No. 1 (Nadal) and No. 2 (Federer).
"There's a lot of expectations and everybody thinks we're going to win and play together then we bomb out," Federer said. "So, we better make sure we focus on just playing good doubles and if it works together at the same time, that'd be great.
"I'm sure that the crowd would go absolutely crazy."


Virgil van Dijk sets sights on an awesome foursome of trophies for Liverpool

Updated 20 September 2018
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Virgil van Dijk sets sights on an awesome foursome of trophies for Liverpool

LIVERPOOL: Virgil van Dijk wants to create history with Liverpool this season as he set his sights on an unprecedented quadruple of trophies.
The Anfield outfit are full of confidence after recording six successive wins at the start of a season for the first time since 1961.
Having reached the Champions League final in the previous campaign, they opened up this one with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain thanks to an injury-time strike from Roberto Firmino after the French champions had pulled back a two-goal deficit.
While pundits have suggested Liverpool should prioritize the Premier League, van Dijk said they have the belief to do even better.
“Everyone is excited, feeling good, wanted to be part of this,” he said. “We know the season is very long, four competitions to play and we want to win everything. That’s basically our mindset. You need to have ambitions.
“With the size of this club, the people around here and with the history, we want to try to win everything. It’s going to be hard, we know it’s something very difficult to do, but we are going to try. That’s what we are here for.
“I’ve enjoyed every bit since I arrived here and hope to keep going. I want to win things, create memories here and write history as well with all of these boys.”
The Dutch defender also feels rivals will see Liverpool as contenders for the big prizes having overcome Neymar and Co.
“We were not in the [Champions League] final last season for no reason,” he added. “I think we should have already got the respect, but this season is new.
“Everyone starts over and we need to show it in every game. We need to keep going, keep improving, but also enjoy it. It’s the highest stage.
“If you are going to be on the pitch and you don’t believe it [that you can beat teams like this] then you need to stay home. You need to believe in your team. I have the belief. I’m enjoying it. You want to play in these games, you want to play these clubs. I think it’s a great time to be a Liverpool player.
“If you look at the team, the whole squad, players who are not even in there and have so much potential, so much quality, it says a lot about our team.”