Team Europe collects their silver
While they are all vying to win the first Grand Slam tournament of the year in Melbourne this week, Laver Cup 2019 champions Team Europe were delighted to hold close a memory from their victory in Geneva when they came together as teammates to capture the coveted title.
One by one they were presented with a replica Laver Cup trophy, a miniature of the full-sized sterling silver original won when Team Europe took on Team World at Palexpo in September.
The champion side, comprising Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Fabio Fognini and (alternate) Roberto Bautista Agut, donned in their Team Europe blue, recounted a cherished moment from the 2019 season when Europe – led by captain Bjorn Borg – edged out a gripping 13-11 victory over John McEnroe’s Team World.
For Federer and Zverev, it was the third time they had been part of the winning Laver Cup team, both men having played the role of overcoming the opponents in must-win final matches.
World No.1 Nadal, basking in a stand-out career season, which included his second Laver Cup victory, competed in the inaugural event at Prague 2017 where he teamed with Federer on the doubles court for one of the most memorable moments in sporting history.
Austrian Thiem, widely tipped for a Grand Slam breakthrough, was also part of that history-making first event but for Greek star Tsitsipas, Italian Fognini and Spain’s Bautista Agut, this was a new experience and all were delighted to receive a replica Laver Cup trophy, with their names engraved on the base.
“It is always a special moment to present these replicas,” said Laver Cup CEO Steve Zacks, who handed over the trophies to each player at Melbourne Park ahead of Australian Open 2020.
“This is a tradition that was established after the inaugural event in Prague.”
The original hand-crafted Laver Cup trophy was constructed to celebrate Australian tennis legend Rod Laver’s extraordinary career and includes molten metal from one of his first individual professional trophies. The 200 notches on the rim of the trophy signify Rod Laver’s career titles, with the duplication of four rings at its base representing his Grand Slam sweeps in 1962 and 1969.
Laver remains the only player to complete two calendar-year Grand Slams, and as a winner of 200 career titles in total, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. The Laver Cup was created in his honor.
The fourth edition of the Laver Cup takes place at TD Garden, Boston, from September 25-27, 2020.