Laver Cup: Ready to begin

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The inaugural Laver Cup will take place in Prague this weekend on a black hard-court

 How does it work?

The event, named after Australian legend, Rod Laver, will be played over three days as six of Europe’s finest test their skills against six of the best from the Rest of the World. On each day, three singles matches and a doubles contest will be played.

As the tournament progresses, each contest will grow in importance as the number of points available increases. On Friday it’s one point for a victory, two on Saturday and three on Sunday.

The first team to win 13 of the 24 available points will be crowned maiden champions. If the sides are locked at 12 apiece, another match will be played to settle the outcome.

Who is playing?

The Laver Cup is the brainchild of Roger Federer, so unsurprising, the 19-time Grand Slam winner will be heavily involved in the action. He is joined in Team Europe by Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych.

Fernando Verdasco is the alternate.

After his US Open success, there has not been much time for Nadal to prepare for the Laver Cup but he is keen to be involved.

“I have today and tomorrow to practice hard,” said the Spaniard on Wednesday. “Let's see, then, what the captain will decide. I'm very excited to play here, and yeah, to have all these great players next to me is something amazing to be apart of. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Rest of the World team consists of Sam Querrey, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe

Thanasi Kokkinakis is the alternate.

Kyrgios is looking forward to the three-day event. “I think we're definitely the underdogs going into it, but I think, you know, we've got the weapons and we can definitely win this competition,” said the 22-year-old.

“I love the team events. I love to get behind my teammates and do everything I can as a competitor and as a team player to get the win. I'm really looking forward to it.”

Team Captains

Old foes and long-term friends, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, are the Captains. The Swede will manage Team Europe while the American will take charge of the Rest of the World.

The pair, who have amassed 18 major titles between them, have been heavily involved in the process and they will call the shots for their respective outfits throughout the three-day event.

Thomas Enqvist will assist Borg and Patrick McEnroe will help his older brother.

The schedule of play for the first day of action on Friday has been announced:

Match 1

Marin Cilic v Frances Tiafoe

Match 2

Dominic Thiem v John Isner

Match 3

Alexander Zverev v Denis Shapovalov

Match 4

Rafael Nadal & Tomas Berdych v Nick Kyrgios & Jack Sock


Images from Ben Solomon/Laver Cup

Posted by: tennishead magazine

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