Roger Federer admits it felt different playing alongside Novak Djokovic

Calling the Shots

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic found themselves in unfamiliar territory of a doubles court at the Laver Cup on Friday, but both men enjoyed the experience of teaming up together.

Federer, whose lone Olympic gold came in men’s doubles with compatriot Stan Wawrinka in Beijing, played with Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the inaugural Laver Cup last year.

Watching the world's best players team up and actually encourage each other proved a massive hit with tennis fans around the world last year and it has been no different in Chicago.

Nadal missed this year's edition of the tournament initially due to Davis Cup commitments, then injury, meaning Djokovic stepped into partner Federer in the first doubles clash.

Surprisingly, 'Fedole' - as they have since been nicknamed - succumbed to a three-set defeat to Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson though.

It wasn't quite the dream partnership most thought it would be and Federer admitted afterwards it wasn't easy to adjust back to the doubles format with a new teammate.

”Rafa and Nole are very different players, a lot of changes, opponents were very different too,” Federer said, per the Daily Express.

“Excitement was similar for me, [and] to team with someone of Nole's caliber was a treat.

Djokovic Federer v Anderson Sock

“When you play doubles it's different, it's like speaking a different language, using a different side of your brain.

“And in a match like today you may go through games when you get no rhythm.“

At one point during the early exchanges, Djokovic actually misfired a shot straight into his playing partner's back later joked he got his 'karma' when Sock struck him in the chest, was equally praiseworthy of his partner.

“We talked a lot of strategies on the bench and what was useful for our players,” said the 31-year-old, who has won back-to-back Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018.

“We have always had plenty of respect for each other, now that will be strengthened. But this kind of quality time is like no other.”

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