Team World Captain John McEnroe has selected the team members he is hoping to take the Laver Cup trophy from the dominant Team Europe, who has won it both times. Team world will consist of world No.8 Kevin Anderson, John Isner (no.
12), Milos Raonic (17), and Denis Shapovalov (27). The highest ranked member, John Isner, has been an anchor for the team since the outset of the event, in 2017. Anderson and Shapo have each played one previous year. Anderson is returning after having secured two significant wins last year, one in doubles against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, and another singles victory over Djokovic.
He was key in achieving near-victory for Team World, which pulled ahead at the start of the third day of matches last year, until Federer and Zverev rocketed their team back to victory. “This format brings out the best in everyone, and we came so close to winning on day three," said last year's Wimbledon finalist Anderson.
“Kevin and John were key to Team World’s near victory in 2018. And with Milos we add a big server who has beaten everyone on Team Europe more than once,” McEnroe said in the press release.
Canadian Shapovalov was picked in the initial event in 2017 and is back.
He only played one match in LC's freshman year, but this time, he's being touted as World's secret weapon. “Denis [Shapovalov] is my first Captain’s pick. He is a rising star that brings two more years of experience and growth since he played for me at the Laver Cup in Prague," said McEnroe.
They will have their work cut out for them, going up against Team Europe, comprised of Roger Federer (No. 3), Rafael Nadal (2), Dominic Thiem (4), Alexander Zverev (5), and the new addition of Fabio Fognini (10), captained by Björn Borg.
The odds are in Europe's favour. However, the matches were much closely contested last year, with Zverev rallying the team to victory in a hard-fought match against Kevin Anderson. Europe won 2017 15-9 in the first year, and 13-8 last year.
“We know Team Europe is incredibly strong but we are not coming to Geneva to lose. We’ve come very close in the last couple of years, and the third time could definitely be the charm”. Five of the six players have been selected for Team Europe, and four out of the six are now lined up for World.
One alternate for each team is yet to be determined as well. McEnroe said that he'll be watching how various players perform in the coming weeks before making final selections for the remaining spots. The Laver Cup's sophomore year took place in Chicago, and the event will be back on European turf, taking place at the Palexpo, Geneva, the home country of Federer, who helmed the event in the first place.
“Playing in Switzerland is going to be completely different to playing in Chicago," said Isner. "We are up against one of the greatest tennis teams ever, in the home country of one of the greatest players.
It takes the home-court advantage to the next level. And Team World will be up for the challenge”. Milos Raonic was originally selected for the 2017 lineup but had to withdraw due to injury. This time, he's returned, and excited to team back up with the coach he worked within 2016, McEnroe, when he defeated Federer in the Wimbledon semis.
“John McEnroe and I have a great relationship. It will be awesome to have his energy and passion courtside to spur us on,” said Canadian Raonic. Captain Borg will be naming his final picks in the coming weeks, one main and one alternate.
Since the event is taking place in Switzerland, wouldn't it fun for him to select Stan Wawrinka? He and Federer won an Olympic gold medal together in Beijing, and Wawrinka has powered himself back into the Top 20. Federer will likely opt to play one doubles match with Nadal again, which was a thrilling aspect of the first edition.
If that's not something to get excited about, I don't know what is. The third iteration of the Laver Cup will take place on September 20-22, 2019.