GENEVA, September 20, 2019
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer headline the third edition of the Laver Cup, which starts today at the Palexpo in Geneva. The Laver Cup field includes three other Top 10 players — Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas — who will join Nadal and Federer on Team Europe. John Isner, Milos Raonic and Nick Kyrgios lead the charge for Team World.
Team Europe won the inaugural tournament in Prague, with Federer prevailing against Kyrgios to prevent Team World from forcing a decisive, winner-take-all doubles set. Last year in Chicago, after Isner and Jack Sock put Team World up 8-7 to start Day 3, Federer and Zverev fought back for wins in their singles matches to clinch the victory for Team Europe.
Underdog Kyrgios not scared
“Our chemistry is much better than Team Europe’s. That gives us a good shot,” Kyrgios said during Thursday’s opening press conference. “I know personally I enjoy seeing my teammates out there. I know these guys feed off energy, as well. I think as a group we come together.
“It’s a lot of fun, as well. This is definitely one of my favorite weeks of the year.”
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 19, 2019
Australia’s enfant terrible stays optimistic despite the fact that his team will face a group of players led by two superstars, who clinched a total of 39 Grand-Slam singles titles.
“I’m personally not scared of that team. I have beaten every single one of their members, and I know guys on my team have beaten them before, as well,” Kyrgios said.
“On paper we’re undermanned and we’re an underdog, but I don’t believe that. I strongly believe that we can win.”
Asked about the big three’s dominant position in men’s tennis, Team World’s captain John McEnroe even went one step further.
“At some point they (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic) are going to stop, I think. Maybe after this weekend (laughter).
They may just call it a day when we just whip their asses (laughter). Wouldn’t that be incredible? That would be a surprising story. We’d like to be part of that,” McEnroe made his statement.