Laver Cup Preview
Posted on September 20 2018
Chicago will host the Laver Cup from the 21st to the 23rd of September as tennis moves on from the drama of the US Open. Last year’s tournament in Prague was an excellent exhibition of tennis, and organisers will be hoping for more of the same this year. Both US Open finalists, Novak Djokovic, and Juan Martin Del Potro will be in action, as well as a host of other big names. One particularly exciting part of the competition is the rare opportunity to see these guys showing off their skills on the doubles court.
What’s the Format?
Each team is made up of 6 players, with three singles matches and a doubles match taking place each day. Every player must play at least one, but no more than two singles matches, while 4 of the 6 players must play doubles. Matches will be best of 3 sets, with the 3rd set being decided by a tie-break to 10. If the event is tied after all matches, there will be a deciding doubles match to choose the winner.
Led by captain, Björn Borg, and vice captain, Thomas Enqvist, defending champions Team Europe have fielded an exceptionally strong team this time around.
Roger Federer - Ranked number 2 in the world, the 36 year old Swiss legend needs no introduction. Returning for his second Laver Cup, Federer won both his singles matches last year, and partnered with Rafael Nadal to win his only doubles match.
Novak Djokovic - The number 3 in the world, and reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion will join the Laver Cup for the first time, having missed out on last year’s inaugural event. The Serb is back to his devastating best, and will be a key weapon for Team Europe.
Alexander Zverev - The young German, ranked number 5 in the world had a very underwhelming US Open, losing in the 3rd round, but will be hoping to bounce back with a strong performance in his second Laver Cup. Last year, Zverev won both his singles and did not feature in the doubles.
Grigor Dimitrov - The Bulgarian world number 7 will make his debut in the tournament having had a solid season. The man nicknamed the mini Fed could hook up with the man on which his game has been modelled for a tantalising doubles pairing.
David Goffin - Also a debutant at the Laver Cup, the Belgian will be a dependable option for Team Europe.
Kyle Edmund - The 23 year old Brit has had a brilliant, break through year, and thoroughly deserves to be rubbing shoulders with the best in the game. Edmund will relish playing with the likes of Federer and Djokovic, and hopefully will learn a great deal from the experience.
Team World will be captained by John McEnroe and his brother Patrick McEnroe. While they don’t have quite the same household names to choose from as Europe, they have a strong team nonetheless.
Juan Martin Del Potro - The big Argentine had a great run to the US Open and has rediscovered the kind of tennis that took him to the top before his terrible run of injuries. Del Potro is a huge star of the game, and will be looking to lead Team World to victory.
Kevin Anderson - South African, world number 9, Kevin Anderson is another man who has had an excellent year, reaching the finals at Wimbledon, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. Like Del Potro, he is making his first appearance at the tournament.
John Isner - Ranked just one spot behind Anderson is John Isner. The American will be looking to produce some of his best tennis in front of a home crowd.
Diego Schwartzman - Another Argentine representing Team World. The 27 year old, who stands at just 5ft 4 inches tall is a great watch, and is sure to provide the crowd with some entertainment.
Jack Sock - One of only two players to return for Team World from last year. Sock lost his only singles game in Prague last year, but won two, lost one in doubles.
Nick Kyrgios - The wildcard. You simply never know what you’re going to get with the world number 27. Last year, the Australian won 1, lost 1 in the singles and won his only doubles game.
The Laver Cup is still young, but it does offer something slightly different to the rest of the tennis calendar. There are some great players on show, and Chicago should provide a great atmosphere for what should be some really good tennis.