Laver Cup 2019

Laver Cup 2019: Roger Federer’s home town puts out red carpet for Borg, McEnroe and Rod Laver

Federer and Nadal spearhead Europe’s star-packed line-up of five out of top seven in the world

Marianne Bevis
By Marianne Bevis
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

With a team spanning the generations—from Roger Federer age 38 to Stefanos Tsitsipas age 21—Team Europe has both the star appeal and fan following to draw huge crowds to the elegant city of Geneva this week.

And with the ATP Race leader, Rafael Nadal, adding his weight to the home side, it looks like a formidable task for Team World to score its first win in this third playing of the Laver Cup. After all, the entire seven-man squad on the Europe bench is ranked at No11 or higher, while the top-ranked World player, John Isner, is at No20.

That this year’s playing of the event, which celebrates the only winner of two calendar Grand Slams, Laver himself, is in the home city of the most prolific Major champion, Federer, has added an extra boost to proceedings.

And with Nadal here fresh from winning his 19th Major, just one short of Federer, this most friendly of renowned rivalries will be on show like never before—though most of their admirers will be hoping to see them join forces in doubles once again, as they did in Prague two years ago.

Not that World captain, John McEnroe, was fazed when he joined Europe captain, Bjorn Borg, plus Rod Laver and the two teams on the balcony of Geneva’s Palais Eynard:

“We’re excited, getting settled in, and getting pumped up—just making sure we bring it on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

“I think the format suits our guys. We are obviously big underdogs, but we have been close, very close.”

Isner admitted that his side are up against possibly “the greatest tennis team of all time”, but the American was backing the “powerful players” on Team World to provide a serious challenge.

But of course, it has been home hero Federer who has taken centre stage since the build-up to the tournament began this week. He has been on a treadmill of interviews, first with all the Swiss media, and then with each of his personal sponsors—the likes of Rolex and Mercedes Benz—who have supported the tournament since its inception. The Laver Cup is, after all, the brainchild of the Swiss, and it is thanks in no small part to his efforts that the tournament has become one of the most popular tennis events in the calendar.

The Swiss said at Wednesday’s launch event:

“It’s definitely going to be one of those weeks that I’ll forever remember. I’ve played in some incredible matches, arenas, places, but I think this one’s going to go down as a very emotional, very cool weekend. I know we’ll give it all we have.”

And after hours of preparation, team introductions, press interviews, and a multitude of selfies and autographs, he summed up how he was feeling:

“It’s been energetic, it’s been thrilling, it’s been exciting. The two teams have finally clashed and seen each other. We are all ready to go.”

The teams [rankings]

Europe

Rafael Nadal [2]

Roger Federer [3]

Dominic Thiem [5]

Alexander Zverev [6]

Stefanos Tsitsipas [7]

Fabio Fognini [11]

Roberto Bautista Agut (alt) [10]

Captain: Björn Borg

Vice-Captain: Thomas Enqvist

World

John Isner [20]

Milos Raonic [24]

Nick Kyrgios [27]

Taylor Fritz [30]

Denis Shapovalov [33]

Jack Sock [37 doubles]

Jordon Thompson (alt) [53]

Captain: John McEnroe

Vice-Captain: Patrick McEnroe

Schedule

Match-ups will be determined prior to the first match each day through the exchange of line-up cards by the captains.

Friday, 20 September

Day session 1pm: 2 singles matches
Night session 7pm: 1 singles, 1 doubles match

Saturday, 21 September

Day session 1pm: 2 singles matches
Night session 7pm: 1 singles, 1 doubles match
Sunday, 22 September

12 midday, 1 doubles, followed by 3 singles matches. If points are even, there will be a one-set doubles decider.

Scoring

Both singles and doubles are best-of-three sets with ad scoring. The third set is a 10-point Match Tie-break.

Points

The winning team must reach 13 points. Each match-win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday, and three points on Sunday. If points are tied at 12 all, a doubles set with ad-scoring and a tie-break will decide the champion.

Who can play what?

· Each man will play at least one singles match during the first two days…

· But no-one will play singles more than twice during the three days.

· At least four of the six players must play doubles…

· But no doubles combination can be played more than once, except for the decider on Sunday, if points reach 12 all.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard

BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge

Jose Mourinho (Photo: The Sport Review)
‘Fantastic effort’: Jose Mourinho reacts to Man United’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool FC
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola points to Chelsea FC and Arsenal in the title race
Frank Lampard
‘He has great talent’: Lampard salutes Chelsea FC midfielder
Gary Lineker
‘Extraordinary’: Gary Lineker salutes Liverpool FC star during 1-1 draw with Man United
Jurgen Klopp
‘I am backing them’: BBC Sport pundit predicts Man United v Liverpool FC
Frank Lampard
Sky Sports pundit uses Chelsea FC to make point about Man United
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Andy Murray
Antwerp 2019: Andy Murray’s long wait for title is over – European Open champion
Mesut Ozil
Juan Mata opens up about Mesut Ozil at Arsenal
Jamie Carragher
‘The same problems’: Carragher reacts to Liverpool FC’s 1-1 draw at Man United