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Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Nick Kyrgios and Rod Laver launch Laver Cup in Chicago

Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Nick Kyrgios and Rod Laver enjoy a laugh at the Laver Cup Chicago 2018 media conference. Photos: Ben Solomon

Roger Federer joined Team World captain John McEnroe, Australian Nick Kyrgios and tennis legend Rod Laver to launch the Laver Cup in Chicago on March 19.



Roger Federer, 20-time Grand Slam champion and one of the greatest players of all time, was joined by the legendary Rod Laver, seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe and top-ranked Australian male Nick Kyrgios in Chicago  to launch the Laver Cup, which will take place at the United Center from September 21-23.

“I’m very excited to be here in Chicago today to launch the Laver Cup,” Federer said.

“The first tournament in Prague was very special for both the players and the fans and I can’t wait to play the Laver Cup here in the sports-mad city of Chicago.”

“Being part of Team Europe, with the legendary Björn Borg as our captain, and winning the first-ever Laver Cup was an incredible experience.

“It was amazing to team up with players who are normally your biggest rivals, and have the chance to play on the same side of the net and be members of the same team.

“I play against guys like Rafa (Nadal), Marin (Cilic), Sasha (Zverev), Dom (Thiem) and Tomas (Berdych) all the time, so to have them on my side, cheering me on, giving me advice and me doing the same for them, meant so much,” Federer continued.

Federer and Kyrgios last played each other at the Laver Cup. The passionate and tightly contested match was a thriller, with Federer sealing the win for Team Europe in a tiebreak 4-6 7-6(6) [11-9].

Federer and Kyrgios met up at Chicago’s iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, where along with event namesake Rod Laver, and Team World captain, John McEnroe, they were officially welcomed to the city by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The pair enjoyed a friendly hit in the stunning location, with an enthusiastic local crowd cheering on.

Roger Federer arrives in Chicago to launch Laver Cup 2018.
Roger Federer has a hit against Nick Kyrgios on a mini court in front of the Bean to launch Laver Cup 2018 tickets on-sale in Chicago. Photo: Ben Solomon

It was Federer’s and Kyrgios’ first visit to Chicago. The Laver Cup will mark the return of elite men’s tennis to the city for the first time in 27 years, when John McEnroe defeated his brother Patrick to win the Chicago Open in 1991.

“Chicago is a great sports city with a great sports tradition.  I’m really excited to be a part of bringing a big-time tennis event, with the biggest stars in our sport, to Chicago”, McEnroe said

“I’m relying on very passionate and knowledgeable tennis fans to support Team World to win the Laver Cup. As Captain of Team World, I’m in this to win and the home court advantage should be helpful.

“Last year Nick Kyrgios was a great team player and performer for Team World.  He gave everything he had and left it all on the court.  I’m very pleased to be able to name Nick as my first Team World player for the Laver Cup Chicago,” McEnroe continued.

There are just 185 days until the Laver Cup takes place at the United Center in Chicago – the countdown has begun.

Roger Federer enjoys a deep dish Chicago pizza with John McEnroe, Nick Krygios and Rod Laver ahead of the Laver Cup 2018 launch.
Roger Federer enjoys a deep dish Chicago pizza with John McEnroe, Nick Krygios and Rod Laver ahead of the Laver Cup 2018 launch. Photo: Ben Solomon

Laver Cup fast facts

  • The Laver Cup is a three-day tournament pitting a team of six of the best tennis players from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world
  • Björn Borg is captain of Team Europe and John McEnroe is captain of Team World
  • Thomas Enqvist and Patrick McEnroe are vice captains of Team Europe and Team World
  • The tournament is named in honor of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the only man to win two calendar-year Grand Slams, and one of the greatest players of all time
  • The unique format of the tournament showcases tennis superstars competing on the same team, playing singles, pairing up in doubles and cheering each other from the sidelines
  • The inaugural Laver Cup was held at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic, from September 22-24, 2017, with Team Europe defeating Team World 15-9
  • The location will rotate between major cities in Europe and the rest of the world each yea
  • The Laver Cup will be staged annually two weeks after the US Open, except in summer Olympic years.

Playing format

  • Each team is comprised of six players and is led by a team captain
  • The competition is played over three days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • There are five sessions, two on Friday and Saturday, and one on Sunday
  • Four matches are played daily, three singles and one doubles
  • Each match win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday
  • The first team to reach 13 points wins the Laver Cup
  • In the event of a tie after all 12 matches have been completed, a final overtime doubles match is played as a regular set with ad scoring and a tiebreak
  • Both singles and doubles are best-of-three sets with ad scoring, with the third set decided by a 10-point tiebreak in the event of split sets
  • Each player will play at least one singles match during the first two days
  • No player will play singles more than twice during the three days
  • At least four of the six players must play doubles
  • Match-ups will be determined prior to each day of play through the exchange of lineup cards by the captains.

Player qualification

  • Players for Team Europe and Team World must qualify or be selected as ‘captain’s picks’ by their team captain
  • Each team comprises six players, with four players on each team qualifying based on their ATP singles ranking as of the Monday following Wimbledon
  • Two players on each team are ‘captain’s picks’ and will be announced by the Monday after the US Open.

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