Australian legend Laver, the only man to have won all four grand slam tournaments in a calendar year twice, surprised the Swiss 17-time grand slam tournament winner at a charity event in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
The 75-year-old took to the Melbourne Park court named in his honour - in a vest, shorts and tennis shoes - and briefly traded shots with Federer.
The moment clearly meant plenty to the 32-year-old, whose deep respect for the Australian was famously on show when he burst into tears after winning the 2006 Australian Open with Laver watching.
Federer admitted he was again feeling the nerves and emotion rallying with Laver on Wednesday night.
"The racquet feels a little heavy right now, I must say," he said.
Federer's hit with Laver came before he took on Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a charity exhibition match in Rod Laver Arena.
The event was organised by Federer to raise money for his foundation, which supports education for underprivileged children in southern Africa.