We have Laver Cup Doubles action on Friday afternoon when Team Europe meets Team World. Team Europe, captained by tennis legend Björn Borg, has Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal teaming up in what will be Federer’s final professional match of his legendary 24-year career.
Team World, captained by John McEnroe, plan for Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe to take the court, and their task will be to spoil Federer’s retirement party.
Will the team of Federer and Nadal be able to send Roger out with a victory in his last pro match? Find out in our Laver Cup preview and predictions.
Federer-Nadal vs Sock-Tiafoe odds
|Roger Federer / Rafael Nadal||Jack Sock / Frances Tiafoe|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook on September 22, 2022.
Federer-Nadal vs Sock-Tiafoe picks
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
Betting the 2022 Laver Cup? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) New users at FanDuel can get a no-sweat first bet up to $1,000! Sign Up Now
B) New users at DraftKings can get a deposit bonus up to $1,000! Sign Up Now
*Eligible USA locations only
Federer-Nadal vs Sock-Tiafoe betting preview
I would be remiss if I didn’t explain to you that this is a professional team exhibition without any ATP points, and each player receives $250,000 USD just for appearing.
Pro exhibition matches usually are semi-scripted. The pros refer to these exhibitions as “splits”, meaning the winner of the first two sets is predetermined, and they play the third set for “real”. This is so fans get their money's worth, and the players can avoid getting injured by not being able to warm up properly.
I don’t believe any of that will occur Friday, but I just wanted to make sure you understand this match isn’t “real” in the sense that it only means something to everyone in the tennis world, minus the ranking points.
Roger Federer has been so good for our sport, and the game will miss him terribly. He’s won 20 Major Titles, been No. 1 in the world for 310 weeks, and ended the year at the top of the mountain five times. Fed’s posted a 131-92 doubles record with eight titles and reached the quarters at Wimbledon, as well as a pair of 3rd round appearances at the Australian and US Open doubles.
Rafael Nadal is no stranger to the winner's circle. His 22 Majors are tops in the game by two, and he’s been No. 1 in the world for 209 weeks and finished the season at No. 1 five times. Nadal is 138-74 as a doubles player with an Olympic Gold medal to his name.
Jack Sock might be a stranger to some, but his eight doubles victories are a Laver Cup record. Sock is 203-95 in his doubles career with 17 doubles titles, including three Major Men’s Doubles titles and an Olympic Gold Medal. Sock is an accomplished singles player as well, with a 179-49 record and four titles, having reached the 4th round of the French and US Opens.
Frances Tiafoe came alive at the 2022 US Open, reaching the semifinals of that event, and has a career record of 128-138 without a title. He’s 23-39 as a doubles player without a title to his credit during his brief, seven-year career.
How this works is the two pairs will play the best of three sets format, but instead of playing the third set, they’ll play a 10-point tiebreaker. Whichever duo wins by two points will then be declared the winner.
Federer-Nadal vs Sock-Tiafoe prediction and best bet
Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the players and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this match.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this match or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.
Prediction: Federer-Nadal 2-0 (+165)
Experience is a precious thing, and “Fedal” have an abundance of big-match experience. This is Federer’s farewell to the tennis world, and there is no way the Swiss legend is going to want to leave the O2 Arena on the wrong side of the win/loss ledger.
Sure, Federer hasn’t played in over a year. Still, his ability to get to the net is tantamount to doubles success, and no one has done it any better or more gracefully than him over his 24-year career. The Swiss native has a bum knee, but he’s also a proud man who never retired from a single match over his entire career. If he didn’t think he’d go out a winner, he would've remained at home and watched the Laver Cup matches with his four children.
Nadal injured his rib cage in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and hasn’t been the same ever since. He won two major singles titles in 2022, and the only reason he’s even in London is to send his mate out with a victory and join the rest of the world in toasting his good friend.
Sock is the most accomplished doubles player on the court. Still, outside a tremendous 2022 US Open run that did include an impressive victory over Nadal, Tiafoe hasn’t had much success in singles or doubles and is more known for crumbling in big situations than raising his game and battling to the end.
Roger and Rafa know full well what to do, and that is to pick on Tiafoe until he proves he can beat them, and they already know that he can’t. The aging duo may be banged up a bit, but they know how to end points quickly, make a high percentage of first serves, and attack Tiafoe every chance they get.
Prediction: Federer-Nadal 2-0 (+165 at bet365)
Best bet: Federer-Nadal 2-1 (+333)
This is an interesting bet, but three sets are probably more likely to happen because if they don’t win in straight ones, they’ll surely win in three. Tiafoe is coming off a strong, confidence-building US Open run, and Sock is one of the best doubles players in the world.
Maybe they get hot and win a set. That could easily happen, and the fans will love that because they get to see more of Roger. Federer did the wise thing by asking Nadal to help him end his career because Rafa is a relentless bulldog who isn’t afraid of big occasions. If this does indeed go three sets and the two legends smell the finish line, look out because they are both ferocious, experienced competitors and will finish the tiebreaker strong.
Along the way, there will be some trick shots, maybe a little mini-tennis sharp angled volleys designed to knock their captains off their chairs, and plenty of fun in what should be a terrific way to send Federer out in style.
Pick: Federer-Nadal 2-1 (+333 at bet365)