It opens up the possibility of the Swiss star partnering Nadal, 18 years after they first faced each other on the ATP Tour in Miami.
The pair have met 40 times during their careers — including nine Grand Slam finals — and also played together in the 2017 Lever Cup.
“As long as we fight with each other, always have this respect for each other — our families, our coaching teams — we’ve always been very good,” Federer said when asked about the possibility of playing the Spaniard. But told reporters.
“For both of us to go through our careers, come out the other side and be able to have a good relationship, I think, is probably a great message — not just for tennis, but for sports beyond that.
“For that reason, I think it’s going to 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 would have to get permission from Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg and tournament organizers to play just one doubles match at the Laver Cup this week.
In this competition, teams from Europe and the rest of the world face each other in nine singles and three doubles matches over three days.
“Here I am trying to prepare for one last doubles,” Federer said. “We’ll see who it is with. I’m nervous going in because I haven’t played in so long. I hope I can compete somewhat.”
The 41-year-old has undergone multiple knee surgeries in recent years and suffered a straight-sets loss to Hubert Herkaz in last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals.
He said he still planned to return to the game next year as recently as two months ago before reaching the decision to retire.
“I just wanted to tell the fans that I’m not going to be a ghost,” Federer said when asked how he would stay involved with tennis after retirement.
“I feel tennis has given me so much, I’ve been around the game for so long, fallen in love with so many things.
“I love seeing people again and I want to let the fans know in this way — that you will see me again… What it might be, in what capacity, I don’t know. I have to think about it now. Give yourself a little more 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 also spent a record 237 consecutive weeks at the top of the world rankings between 2004 and 2008.