Borg and McEnroe to extend Laver Cup rivalry
Tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will continue in their role as Laver Cup team captains in 2020.
Rivals as professionals when they ruled the tennis stage in the 1970s and ‘80s, Borg and McEnroe have imprinted their distinctive style on the competition, steering their teams in pursuit of the coveted Laver Cup trophy, named in honor of tennis legend Rod Laver, whom they both revere.
Borg, famed for his ice cool demeanour in contrast to the mercurial McEnroe, said the event had captivated sports fans worldwide.
“I just love this event and all that it represents, it’s the best week of the year,” the 11-time major winner declared.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to captain Team Europe with such dedicated champions in my fold. This weekend we are all doing everything we can to ensure that we keep the trophy in Europe.”
“The Laver Cup is a highlight of my year,” said McEnroe, winner of seven major singles titles and world No.1 for 170 weeks at the height of his career.
“It encapsulates everything that is great about tennis: the best players, striving to win for their team in a format that has fans jumping out of their seats.
“We’ve always been the underdogs, but we have come close to upsetting the blue team and are giving everything we’ve got to take the prize this year.”
Team Europe captured the first Laver Cup at Prague in 2017 and successfully defended the title in Chicago last year.
“Sitting courtside throughout the three-day event, McEnroe and Borg epitomize the essence of the Laver Cup,” said TEAM8 president and CEO, and Chairman of the Laver Cup, Tony Godsick.
“They were great rivals with contrasting styles when they competed as young men, and they are also great friends. Their presence at the Laver Cup has been one of the stand-out successes of the event and we are thrilled they will continue in their roles for 2020.”
Borg and McEnroe met 22 times on the pro tour, winning 11 times against each other.
With a rivalry described as “Fire and Ice”, McEnroe and Borg famously competed for tennis supremacy three decades ago. They are best known for their epic 18-16 tiebreaker in the fourth set of the Wimbledon 1980 final, which Borg eventually won. McEnroe won the following year, ending the cool Swede’s five-year run at the event.
Now good friends, McEnroe and Borg said they are keen to continue the legacy of the Laver Cup, a celebration of Rod Laver, who won the calendar Grand Slam in 1962 and 1969.
“Laver is one of the most loved people in tennis,” said Borg. “It is an honor to take part in this event, which celebrates everything he stood for.”
“There is no greater champion than Rod,” added McEnroe. “He won 11 majors and dominated as an amateur player in the ‘60s and as a pro. He is a hero of the sport.”
The Laver Cup brings together the best six players from Europe and the rest of the world over three days, in a fast-paced scoring system on a midnight-black court. It is the captains’ role to select who will play singles and doubles at each of the five sessions, with the points value of matches accumulating as the competition progresses.
Competing for Team Europe in 2019 are Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini, with Team World comprising John Isner, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Taylor Fritz, Denis Shapovalov and Jack Sock.