Alexander Zverev has given some insight into Roger Federer's persona off the court and the manner in which he interacts with his fellow tennis professionals. He also spoke about the Swiss ace's relationship with long-time rival Rafael Nadal.
The 20-year-old German played alongside Federer, Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic as part of Team Europe at the Laver Cup in 2017. It is an annual team event that was inaugurated last year and saw the best in Europe take on a team comprising of players from the rest of the world – Team World.
The latter comprised of Americans Jack Sock, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Frances Tiafoe, Denis Shapovalov from Canada and Australian Nick Kyrgios. The Europeans went on to win the inaugural event 15-9 and the Laver Cup will be reprised again in September this year in Chicago.
Zverev has revealed that Team Europe created a WhatsApp group for the six players and labelled Federer as "the funniest" among everyone on the group. The German admitted that it is hard to believe that the Swiss ace was the funny one, but revealed that it was Federer who sent all the jokes and funny videos.
"Roger is the funniest among everyone, he likes to send jokes and funny videos," Zverev told German publication Sportbild, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
"You wouldn't believe it if you don't know Roger. [Nadal] replies instead of sending something."
The Laver Cup also saw Federer and Nadal play on the same side of the court for the first time in their careers as they took on Querrey and Sock in a doubles match. The current world number one and two came out victorious, much to the delight of the crowd and Team Europe.
Zverev has revealed that despite their long-term rivalry – the duo have faced each other 38 times in the last 14 years – the top-two ranked men's singles players share a cordial relationship and get along well.
"Roger and Rafael have played many important matches against each other, but they get along well. There is respect," the two-time Masters Series winner added.