The US Open of tennis has impressively demonstrated that the absence of certain top stars doesn’t have to have a negative effect on level or even interest. In this regard, Team Europe does not have to worry about the Laver Cup, which starts on Friday. Captain Björn Borg has to do without top quartet Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic compared to the “rest of the world” squad – while the top three ended the season early due to injury, world number one has fun Serbia take a break again – but can at least fall back on Daniil Medwedew, Sascha Zverev, Andrej Rublew, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud.
The “rest of the world” is represented by the young Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Schapovalov, Diego Schwartzman, the American duo Reilly Opelka and John Isner and the Australian Nick Kyrgios.
The first three stages of the competition, named after Australian Rod Laver and modeled on the Ryder Cup in golf, which also takes place on weekends, were regularly won by Europe, the last in date in Geneva two years ago. This time Europeans Zverev and Medvedev are the Olympic and US Open winners this summer. The Russian arrived in Boston well rested after a short vacation in Miami. “I had a week off and had a great time celebrating my victory.
The 25-year-old is a Laver Cup rookie, but team competitions are of course not new territory for him. It wasn’t until February that he led Russia to win the ATP Cup in Melbourne. “We are not playing for the country here, but for the whole continent. I am excited because this is my first time. I was really looking forward to this week.” After the triumph in New York, Medvedev would now like to add: “I want more titles, whether in Grand Slam, Masters or Laver Cup.”
McEnroe’s hopes rest particularly on Auger-Aliassime, most recently at the US Open in the semi-finals. “This is my first Laver Cup, I’m really excited. I hope we can put on a good show and get the first win for Team Welt,” said the North American.
In any case, when they arrived in Boston, all the players were ready for the show. The hairstyle is seated, the costume holds. Now the matches just have to stick, which the previous tennis season had promised despite all the adversities. (art / apa)
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