American Men to lead
Team World at INAUGURAL LAVER CUP
Ashley Marshall & E.J. Crawford | September 19, 2017
America’s top three men and one of its top rising stars will help carry the weight of the world on their shoulders when they team up for the first-ever Laver Cup, set for its debut later this week.
World No. 16 Sam Querrey, No. 17 John Isner, No. 21 Jack Sock and No. 72 Frances Tiafoe headline Team World in the new three-day tournament, which will see six of the best players from Europe compete against six of their counterparts from across the globe.
The four Americans join No. 20 Nick Kyrgios and No. 51 Denis Shapovalov on Team World. Tiafoe was a late replacement for 2017 US Open semifinalist Juan Martin del Potro, who pulled out with an injury. Shapvalov and Tiafoe are the two youngest men in the current Top 100.
World No. 1 and newly minted US Open champion Rafael Nadal leads Team Europe alongside world No. ADVERTISEMENT 2 and 19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, No. 4 Alexander Zverev, No. 5 Marin Cilic, No. 7 Dominic Thiem and No. 19 Tomas Berdych.
John McEnroe is set to serve as captain of Team World. Bjorn Borg will helm Team Europe.
“Any player who appreciates history understands Rod Laver’s legacy, and I’m so proud to play in the first Laver Cup,” said Isner. “It’s sure to be super competitive, especially facing off against great players like Roger and Rafa who’ve both had an amazing year.”
The first Laver Cup, named in honor of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver – the only man to win two calendar-year Grand Slams – will be held at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic, Sept. 22-24.
The location will rotate between major cities in Europe and the rest of the world each year, with the 2018 edition set to take place in the United States at a venue to be determined.
In Isner, Querrey, Sock and Tiafoe, Team World has four players who enjoy team competition. Isner, Querrey and Sock have all represented the U.S. in the Davis Cup, while Sock also won two medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and helped Team USA to the final of the Hopman Cup. They are also playing great tennis this year, with Isner winning back-to-back titles this summer in Newport and Atlanta; Querrey reaching the Wimbledon semifinals and the US Open quarterfinals in addition to scoring the Mexican double, with titles in Acapulco and Los Cabos; Sock claiming trophies in Auckland and Delray Beach; and Tiafoe, a former Junior Davis Cup standout, is coming off a hard-fought, five-set loss to Federer in the opening round of the US Open.
“The most memorable moments of my career have all occurred while competing in a team," said Sock. "I get to the do that again at Laver Cup and I’m especially honored to be a part of this first event. ... Added to that is the fact we’ll have John McEnroe firing up the team as our captain. I couldn’t be more excited.”