Roger Federer: Playing final match with Rafael Nadal on Friday would be “special”.

This opens up the possibility of the Swiss star meeting Nadal, 18 years after they first faced each other on the ATP Tour in Miami.

The pair have met 40 times in their careers — including nine grand slam finals — and played together at the 2017 Laver Cup.

“As long as we fought together, always having this respect for each other — our families, our coaching staffs — we always got along really well,” Federer told reporters when asked about the possibility of playing alongside the Spaniard.

“To have the careers that we’ve both had, to come out on the other side and be able to have a nice relationship, I think it’s maybe a great message – not only to tennis, but to the sport beyond that.”

“So I think it would be great. I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I think it could obviously be a special moment.”

Federer said he had to get permission from Team Europe captain Björn Borg and tournament organizers to play just one doubles match at the Laver Cup this week.

The competition pits teams from Europe and the rest of the world against each other in nine singles and three doubles matches over three days.

“I’m trying to prepare for a final doubles here,” Federer said. “We’ll see who it is with. I’m going in nervous because I haven’t played in a long time. I hope to be competitive.”

The 41-year-old has undergone numerous knee surgeries in recent years, including a straight sets defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals.

He said two months ago, before he decided to retire, that he plans to return to the sport next year.

Federer addresses the media in London ahead of the final match of his professional career.

“I wanted to let the fans know that I’m not going to be a ghost,” Federer said when asked how he would continue to play tennis after retirement.

“I feel that tennis has given me too much, I have been playing for too long, in love with too many things.

“I love seeing people again and that’s what I wanted to let the fans know — that you’ll see me again… What it could be, what ability, I don’t know. I still have to think about it a little bit and give myself time.”

Among the many accolades of his tennis career, Federer won 103 singles titles and 20 grand slam titles — second only to Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21) on the men’s all-time list.

He became the oldest ever world No. 1 at the age of 36, and had a record 237 consecutive weeks at the top of the world rankings between 2004 and 2008.