One of the greatest rivalries that burned in world tennis is being re-ignited at the inaugural Laver Cup.
One of the greatest rivalries that burned in world tennis is being re-ignited at the Laver Cup.
Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will again face each other across the net but this time as team captains of Europe and the The World.
Their rivalry was described by many as “Fire and Ice” such was the contrast in their playing style.
Borg was known for his calm, methodical approach while McEnroe played with an explosive temperament and unorthodox style.
They played each other 22 times, winning 11 matches each.
Now their understanding of the game will be tested as they match wits in the Laver Cup.
The tournament brings together the best six players from Europe to play against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world over three days.
Four players will qualify for selection based on their ATP rankings and it will be at Borg and McEnroe’s discretion to select the remaining two players.
The captain will decide the order of singles matches and the makeup of doubles combinations.
Each carries the pride of their region and the reputation of its players in one thrilling tournament played at Prague’s O2 arena.
“It’s an incredible honour to captain Europe for the Laver Cup, and lead Roger and Rafa, two of the best players the world has ever seen, along with other great European players” Bjorn Borg said.
“Bringing Roger and Rafa together will be unbelievable – sitting courtside will be like watching the greatest show on earth. Both of them are ferocious competitors and fight to the final point.
“It will be thrilling to see them team up to face what will no doubt be stiff competition from some of the rising stars in the game and I know they’ll rise to the occasion.
“Of course there’ll be the added drama of facing my own biggest rival from my playing days– no way can I can let John win!”
John McEnroe has described his rivalry with Borg as “We made a great yin and yang when we were out there, the way we played, the way we acted, the way we looked.
“The Laver Cup is going to be an extraordinary competition and I can’t wait to bring along, and hopefully inspire, the next generation of great players in a unique and exciting format. I respect the next generation of players that are working hard to be the best they can be and maximise their potential.
“I believe there are a number of young and talented players that are going to shake up the established order of tennis. The Laver Cup is a great opportunity for these players to bring in the beginning of a new era.”
Borg and McEnroe have signed up to captain their teams for the Laver Cup for three years, commencing with the inaugural competition in September 2017.