2018 Laver Cup Preview
Sep 25 5 min read12:07 pm
IMG_9069 on Flickr by David Genty under CC2.0
A year after a successful debut at Prague, the Laver Cup is back with another edition, which will be hosted in Chicago from September 21-23. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal teamed up to play on the same side of the net last year, which was the highlight of the tournament played on black court. Initiated by Federer as a tribute to the legends of tennis, the Laver Cup is named in honor of the living legend Rod Laver. Last year, Bjorn Borg’s Team Europe won the tournament with a scoreline that read 15-9.
The Laver Cup has a unique format which sees the number of points won by a team each rising exponentially. On the first day, if a team wins a match, it gets one point for a win, on the second day it gets two points and on third day three points. Three singles matches and one doubles match will be played each day. Many changes have taken place in both Team Europe and Team World’s list of players. Here is a comprehensive description of both sides for the 2018 edition.
Captain: Bjorn Borg
Vice-Captain: Thomas Enqvist
Alternate: Jeremy Chardy
World No.2 and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, is one of the two players who will play for the second consecutive year at the Laver Cup for Team Europe. The Swiss Maestro is expected to pair up with rival Novak Djokovic for a doubles match. Last year, Federer played two singles and one doubles match and won all the three.
World No.3 and 14-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, makes his debut at the Laver Cup this year. In his comeback year, Djokovic has won two slams and will be a key element for Team Europe.
Sascha Zverev has returned to the Laver Cup for a second consecutive year. Zverev has a win-loss record of 47-17 in 2018, winning three titles. Last year, the German played two singles matches and won both of them to give Team Europe a vital lead on the scoreboard.
Defending ATP World Tour Finals Champion and World No.7 Grigor Dimitrov makes his maiden appearance at the Laver Cup. Apart from finishing as the runner-up at Rotterdam this year, the Bulgarian has struggled to make a mark on the tour in 2018.
World No.11 David Goffin has committed to play at the Laver Cup this year. Playing with a win rate of 67% this season, the Belgian is another precious Top 20 player for Team Europe.
Kyle Edmund was the captain’s pick for Team Europe this year. Currently seated at a career high of World No.16, the Brit won the doubles title at Estoril earlier this year. Edmund can come in handy both as a singles and a doubles player for Team Europe.
Captain: John McEnroe
Vice-captain: Patrick McEnroe
Alternate: Nicolas Jarry
World No.8 and Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson is the highest ranked player for Team World. The South African has won 41 of 58 matches this year and won the title in New York defeating Sam Querrey in the finals.
World No.10 John Isner won his first ever Masters title at Miami this year. The big serving American played two singles and one doubles match last year. He lost one singles match against Dominic Thiem but created a massive upset by defeating Rafael Nadal in straight sets on the third day. The 2018 Wimbledon semi-finalist could be a major threat to Team Europe.
Diego Schwartzman might be short in stature but the Argentinean has managed to win the title at Rio and reach the quarter-finals of Roland Garros this year. Making his debut at the Laver Cup, Schwartzman’s quick on court movement accompanied by blazing groundstrokes is what Team Europe will have to catch up with.
2018 US Open doubles champion Jack Sock was picked up by John McEnroe for the Laver Cup for its second edition. Sock played three doubles matches and a singles match last year. He lost his singles match to Rafael Nadal but won two of the three doubles matches he was a part of. A doubles specialist, Sock can inflict damage on Team Europe each day if he is picked up for the doubles tie.
Nick Kyrgios was the captain’s pick for Team World this year at the Laver Cup as he returns to the tournament for a second straight year. Kyrgios won the title at Brisbane in January but has struggled since then. Last year Kyrgios won a singles and a doubles match but lost in the championship deciding match against Roger Federer in a nail biting third set tiebreak.
2018 Delray Beach champion and World No.40 became a part of Team World after Juan Martin Del Potro withdrew from the Laver Cup for a second straight year. Tiafoe, who makes a debut at the Laver Cup will look forward to taking on the big guns of tennis in Chicago and his rocketing forehand will definitely put Team Europe’s returning abilities to test.
The 2018 Laver Cup will be played on indoor hard courts and Team World will have to put in valiant efforts in order to dethrone Team Europe at Chicago.