Photo : Martin Sidorjak
It promises to be a weekend to remember for many reasons with the fifth edition of the Laver Cup being staged at the famed O2 Arena in London, England from Friday until Sunday with matches in both singles and doubles featuring many of the best players in the world.
For the second year in a row, the popular event will feature a Canadian as Félix Auger-Aliassime will be returning to Team World after making his debut in 2021 along with his compatriot Denis Shapovalov. The 22-year-old played one match over the three days, falling to Matteo Berrettini in the longest match in Laver Cup history to date at two hours, 52 minutes. He’s back with higher expectations and a bigger role this time around.
Auger-Aliassime is the second-highest ranked player on Team World behind only Taylor Fritz, so he’ll be counted on by captains John and Patrick McEnroe to lead the way and face the top competition from Team Europe. He and Fritz will be joined by Diego Schwartzman, Alex De Minaur, U.S. Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe, Jack Sock, and Tommy Paul.
Each day, both teams will face off in three singles matches and end with a duel in doubles. Each match win is worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday, and three points on Sunday. The first team to reach 13 points out of a total 24 points available wins. For more information on the format, click here.
Team Europe are four-time winners of the Laver Cup and are the heavy favourites to take home top honours for the fifth time. All it takes is one quick glance at their star-studded lineup to see why.
The Big Four Reunited
For the first time since 2019, tennis’ ‘Big Four’ will compete together in the same event as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, and their 66 Grand Slam singles titles between them are set to represent the European side. The legendary quartet will be joined by U.S. Open finalist Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Berrettini as well as team captains Bjorn Borg and Thomas Enqvist. Talk about packing a punch.
The task promises to be a mighty one for Team World, but that doesn’t mean the tennis won’t be entertaining and thrilling. Fans will witness some rare, must-see matchups and doubles duos that rarely happen on the ATP Tour.
This year’s Laver Cup will also be a celebration and an acknowledgement of the end of a wonderful era. Not only will the ‘Big Four’ be reunited, but Federer, who announced his retirement last week, will also play the final match of his illustrious career on Friday in doubles.
Citing ongoing issues with his knee, the Swiss Maestro decided it was time to hang up his racquet after entertaining legions of tennis fans around the world for more than two decades. He’ll be remembered as one of the all-time greats, if not the greatest, and arguably the most beloved athlete in the world. His impact on the game has been immense, to say the least, and it will be felt for years to come.
Given how he’s feeling physically, Federer will only play one doubles match during the event and wanted the chance to team up with Nadal, his good friend and biggest rival, for the grand occasion. Not surprisingly, Captain Borg made it happen as the pair will join forces in Friday’s doubles contest against the American duo of Sock and Tiafoe.
Perhaps the best news of all for Canadian tennis fans after watching the action from London on TSN and TVA Sports this weekend is that they will be able to witness the magic of the Laver Cup in person next year when the 2023 edition comes to Vancouver with Team World playing host.