Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev speak after winning Laver Cup

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THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Roger, it doesn’t get any closer than that in a way to finish the inaugural championship.
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. (Laughter.)

You need more? More sound bytes? Shall I stretch it?

Yes, you’re right. No, like I said on court, I was getting ready for the doubles mentally, but kind of felt good going into the breaker.

It was a wonderful week, wonderful week to spend time with the guys. You know, in a perfect world you want to stay home and be with your friends and families and all that, but there is another life that we have which is on tour. To spend it this way was an incredible journey, really. It was way better than I ever thought it was going to be.

To see the smiling faces and the happiness in everybody winning and holding the trophy and winning that match point, and also the feeling I had on the inside felt like winning some of the biggest matches in my life.

It’s nice it is this way, and it was extremely close. It was like a fairy tale for all of us, or for me, at least, at the end. I’m happy I could deliver the crucial three points at the end for Team Europe.

Q. You’re part of making this thing happen and part of designing it from the beginning. Does that change the feeling when you’re out there playing it, knowing you’re part owner in a way?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, I was really focused on having a good time. I feel like I get more credit than I deserve, just because, you know, a lot of people put in heroic efforts, and I’d like to thank all of them. The people who were behind this event from the get-go believed in it and the vision and the dream.

So to see it all come alive and at the end the team showing up, playing well, Team World coming up and putting on an unbelievable show and playing their absolute best because they had to, because our team was stacked with world-class players, Top 10 players, it was always going to be tough for them.

It was indoors, a faster court to play on if you serve well. That’s why it was a nail biter at the end.

For me, personally, it’s a dream scenario. I’d like to thank each one of them for their efforts. Rafa was the first to sign up. He was there from the start. I can’t thank him enough. Björn and John, to accept their role as captains and honor the great man in Rod Laver, it all worked out. It’s really a dream.

Q. Obviously this event, there has been quite a lot, you have been very identified with it, quite a lot riding on it for you. Not everyone in the game has kind of recognized it. Do you feel that the very obvious success of this initial event, in some way, you’ve kind of proved a point?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yes, I mean, there is pressure having to prove that it’s successful. The only way it was ever going to be successful is if the players cared. And they did. I think you see it. I think you see the happiness. The Laver Cup trophy is still sprayed with champagne, so that means we have already been celebrating.

It’s been a wonderful journey. I just hope to, you know, to leave a legacy behind, not for me personally but just for the game, because it deserves it. It deserves the players, and the legends of this game deserve the recognition they deserve. The future players deserve a massive platform to play tennis in.

And the likes of our team, the young guys, Dominic and Sascha, and on the World Team all the young guys there, they will hopefully play for years and decades to come this competition. For me, as an older guy, and Rafa and other guys on the team, it was a pleasure taking part in the very first one.

Q. Rafa, you looked really nervous.
ROGER FEDERER: Why were you nervous? Explain me this (laughter).

Q. Do you often feel like that? I haven’t seen you look quite so much in agony at the side of the court before.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, very close, no? We know that the way that the competition works, Sunday is crucial, so anything could happen.

And we were lucky that — well, lucky. I don’t know if lucky or not, but we are lucky to be 9-3 before today, no? Every match have been so close. 

And today we know that gonna play against players that are tough to play, especially in this surface. And that what happen, no?

Well, the end was great finish, great atmosphere. I enjoyed a lot the whole weekend. For me is unbelievable weekend, sharing, all these emotions and moments with all of the players that are next to me.

Congrats to Roger and all his team for a great idea and a great organization. Yeah, hopefully this event is keep going and hopefully the new generations, the young ones, gonna commit as we did it this weekend.

The only way that the competition have success is if the players really want to play and really care for it. We did it. We put all the energy that we have today to win this trophy.

Yeah, have been great. Yeah, we are very happy to win the first Laver Cup for Europe.

Let’s enjoy this moment, and let’s keep going on the tour, but of course the Laver Cup gonna be in our mind for the next couple of years.

Q. Roger, I’m sure you have a debrief for the organizers in the next few days or whatever. Was there anything this weekend you’d like to fine-tune about the event, or do you think you sort of nailed it with the format?
ROGER FEDERER: My next plan is going to the gym, believe it or not. That’s what I was scheduled for tomorrow. I’m not sure if that’s gonna happen after the day we had today and the party we might have tonight for some of us. So we’ll see about that.

Yeah, I mean, there will be a debrief. I think even during the week I was getting bits and pieces, you know, things that were going so well and other things we could have still improved.

I do believe we need to see how the first sort of three editions going to go, and then during the Olympic year it’s going to be off. I think it’s going to be great for the organizer to have a year off and really take it easy.

I think Chicago is an unbelievable venue. I have been a great fan, of course, of Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls, way back when. So to go there, it’s going to be incredibly exciting playing in front of 20,000, 23,000 people. It’s going to be amazing feeling.

Going into details right now, I can’t tell you much, you know. I mean, in a perfect world, I guess, I’d like to see the home team get all the support. So from next time on, I hope it’s this way. They were very polite and very nice, and they were amazing this week, but in a perfect world I hope they roar every time we win a point. They don’t boo for the others, but they’re a little bit more quiet (smiling).

Q. First of all, congratulations to all of you guys for winning the beautiful Laver Cup and for putting on a spectacular show for us. So, Roger, what’s the celebrations going to be like?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I’m on a plane to China, if anybody wonders.

ROGER FEDERER: First of all, we need a shower.

RAFAEL NADAL: Okay. We are coming with you to China. (Laughter.)

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, no, honestly, we need a shower, and then we need to figure it out. Some have to go there. Unfortunately we have to split up soon. Some can stay. Some have to go to the tour.

We’ll figure it out once we go back to the locker room after this.

Q. I don’t represent the press, but I want to say that many of us were some prejudice against this exhibition before. We don’t think anymore it’s an exhibition. We want to congratulate you, Roger and Godsick. And I’d like to know from Roger and Rafa especially, and Björn, if there was anything that really surprised you? I mean, what surprised you the most, apart from being very successful, better than your expectation and everything else? Is there anything that really you didn’t expect?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, if I may just start, the unknown was just how were we going to get along? We get along well because we practice together and all that, but were the players really in the mood to sit through the matches and support, you know, on the couch behind Björn, or were they not going to be there?

So to see that support was amazing. All the players were, like, We’re staying there, right, when you’re playing?

I was, like, Well, that would be the dream scenario, but of course if you kind of want to hang out in the back and stay at the hotel, you can. There’s no rule, you know. But that would be — from the tournament organizers, that would be the dream scenario.

And everybody was, like, Of course we stay there. We’re a team; we support each other.

That, to me, was a wonderful surprise how everybody was willing to give their last shirt to the event. And then the support, you know, looking over and seeing Rafa going, Okay, this next point you’re going to win it right now or, kind of thing, or the boys always standing up and just giving me extra energy throughout, that was unexpected, to be honest.

And Björn, I expected him to be calm and cool, and he was till the very end. He did admit he was nervous. That was a surprise for me (smiling).

Why were you nervous?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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