Patrick McEnroe and Thomas Enqvist named vice captains
American Patrick McEnroe and Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist have been named vice captains of the Laver Cup teams when the competition gets underway in Prague on September 22.
Patrick McEnroe will join Team World, under the direction of his older brother John McEnroe, while Enqvist will support the campaign of Team Europe, captained by Björn Borg.
Patrick McEnroe arrives with 10 years’ experience at the helm of the US men’s Davis Cup team, the longest serving captain in American history. Hailed for his role as a leader, McEnroe’s early focus was on developing younger players including Andy Roddick – the winner of every rubber he contested in 2007 – which was a key to the Americans’ 32nd Davis Cup title, and their first since 1995. He also headed up player development at the USTA for six years and is a long-time commentator for ESPN.
He is now set to apply these world-class leadership and coaching skills to Team World, a squad with some familiar American faces as well as tennis stars from Australia, Canada and Argentina.
“I am deeply honored to stand by John’s side for the first edition of the Laver Cup,” McEnroe said.
“This is an exciting time for tennis and I will be there doing whatever I can to ensure Team World has the best chance of winning.
“We have a great line up of players, and although we face a formidable opposition, team competition is renowned for bringing out the best in players and you can’t always predict the result. I can’t wait,” McEnroe continued.
Enqvist will join his childhood idol Björn Borg in support of Team Europe.
“[He’s] the reason why I wanted to play tennis. My whole life he’s been my biggest idol,” said the 1999 Australian Open runner-up and former world No.4.
“It will be a huge honor to work with Bjorn and this incredible team of champions in this first edition of the Laver Cup,” Enqvist said.
The synergy, therefore, couldn’t be more pronounced as Enqvist works alongside his idol and countryman. With an impressive tennis record of his own, the younger Swede is both a keen and qualified deputy.
Enqvist rose to become the world No.1 junior in 1991 after winning Grand Slam boys’ singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. He quickly made his mark as a professional player, within two years reaching the top 10 with titles in Auckland, Philadelphia, Stockholm, Pinehurst and Indianapolis.
The highpoint of his Grand Slam career came when he stunned Patrick Rafter and Mark Philippoussis to finish runner-up at the Australian Open in 1999. The No.1 Swede for much of his career, Enqvist was the winner of at least one title each year between 1995 and 2000.
Patrick McEnroe excelled at doubles, reaching a top ranking of No.3 and winning 16 doubles titles. His singles highlights included the semifinal of the Australian Open in 1991 and the quarterfinal of the US Open in 1995.
The inaugural Laver Cup will take place at the O2 arena, Prague, Czech Republic, from September 22-24, 2017.