Team Europe: Eager to Reclaim the Laver Cup Trophy
Four-time Laver Cup champions Team Europe are hungry for victory, 12 months since their unbeaten streak came to an end.
“I am very happy with my team,” Captain Bjorn Borg said. “Unfortunately we lost last year in London, that was a very big disappointment. I know that all these six guys are eager to bring back the trophy to Europe.”
“It’s going to be very competitive, prestigious — no one likes to lose,” said Borg, noting that four-time Team Europe representative Roger Federer will be on hand to provide advice. “We are ready to beat these guys,” added the Swedish legend.
Thomas Enqvist, Team Europe’s Vice Captain, credited his team for their professionalism and instant chemistry. “Right away, they put on the blue jacket and they really come together and they support each other…they’ve been working really hard on the practice court.”
“Wearing the blue color is a great feeling and playing for Team Europe is special,” said Casper Ruud, who clinched points at Laver Cup 2021 and 2022.
“It’s nice to have your typical opponents be teammates,” added the top Norwegian, acknowledging that the bond he’s formed with Team Europe players in past years has facilitated stronger connections and simpler practice co-ordination during the rest of the season.
Davidovich Fokina, one of Team Europe’s four Laver Cup debutantes who will take to the court at Friday’s opening session, said he recognizes his team’s hunger to recapture the title. “I think we’re going to be a great team and have so much fun,” said the Spaniard.
“It’s a real honor to be part of Team Europe,” smiled Hubert Hurkacz, who is making his first Laver Cup appearance in Vancouver. That sentiment was echoed by 37-year-old Gael Monfils and countryman Arthur Fils, who plans to act as a sponge this weekend, soaking up teachings from both his captains and teammates.
“I will learn from them — they are all playing great and better than me, so I’m going to sit on the bench sometimes and watch them play and cheer for them,” said the 19-year-old Frenchman.
Andrey Rublev, who has a 2-0 win-loss record in Laver Cup doubles, is keen to maintain his pristine record. The world No. 6 will form a first-time partnership with Fils on Friday night. “If he will play the same way like he played in practice, I think we have a good chance,” smiled the 25-year-old, who acknowledged incorporating boxing into his training helped hone his co-ordination and amplify his endurance.
Asked to share a piece of advice with the players donning blue Team Europe tracksuits for the first time this week, Ruud kept it simple. “Enjoy, but give it your all — it’s a trophy worth fighting for,” said the world No. 9 and three-time Grand Slam finalist. “It’s much more fun to hold it than go in the locker room on Sunday [after] not being able to win.”