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Inside Team World: Taking on ‘greatest of all time’

Laver Cup 2019 – Preview Day 3

John Isner is under no illusions about the size of the task facing Team World as they try to win the Laver Cup for the first time – but he believes they have the power to prevail.

“They’ve probably assembled the greatest tennis team of all time,” was the American’s verdict on Team Europe. 

“We’re definitely up against it, we know that much.”

Roger Federer will enjoy home support in Geneva, with Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Foginini completing a daunting line-up.  

Isner experienced agonizing defeats in both previous Laver Cup outings in 2017 and 2018, but each time Team World came close to getting the win.

This isn’t a war of attrition, this is more something that happens faster – John McEnroe

Last year in Chicago he held match points against Roger Federer but was unable to convert, something that became a familiar tale for the red team as they went down to defeat on the final day once again.

This year Team World Captain John McEnroe will be able to call on the serving prowess and power games of Isner, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Jack Sock and Taylor Fritz.

“On our side we have a lot of powerful players,” added Isner. “Players that can take the racquet out of their hands, so we’re going to need to do that.

“On their side they have the best ball strikers in the world, we have the ability to finish points quickly, and we’re going to need to do that.”

John McEnroe and Roger Federer

McEnroe was of a similar mind as he analysed the match-ups between red and blue.

“The guys that play for me, they’re very dangerous players,” he said.

“This isn’t a war of attrition, this is more something that happens faster. We’ve got guys who can take the racquet out of anyone’s hand and the key is to get hot at the right time.

“Maybe a little luck will go our way. Last year we had four matches where we had match points and lost. If we had won one or certainly two of those, we would have won.

“Hopefully we’ll take advantage of our opportunities this year.”



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