The second installment of the Laver Cup gets underway Friday in Chicago. In this “Europe v The World” format, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic lead the European team.
Juan Martin del Potro was the World headliner but he withdrew. That leaves the World with just three players in the Top 15 – Kevin Anderson, John Isner and Diego Schwartzman against a much stronger European team with five players in the Top 11!
Bjorn Borg captains Europe, John McEnroe is at the helm of the World.
“We have four of the six core guys from last year,” said McEnroe. “I think together we work really well, so we’re excited. But we’re hopeful that the crowd is as involved or more than they were last year.”
Added Borg, “I believe it’s going to be a great match. Team World has a good team too, so it’s going to be a close match and very exciting tennis. We are here to try to defend our Cup. It’s going to be difficult, but I think we have a good chance.”
Friday opens with Frances Tiafoe taking on Grigor Dimitrov who is 1-0 against the American.
“It’s going to be fun. I’m pretty excited for it, playing Grigor again,” said Tiafoe who opened the 2017 Laver Cup as well.
The night ends with star attractions Federer and Djokovic teaming in doubles in their partnership debut.
“We have had so many great battles in all the singles courts, and to finally team up together I think is going to be very special for both of us,” said Federer. ”I think we still have to talk over it a little bit exactly maybe either who’s going to take the lead or, you know, how do we play exactly.”
Kyrgios, who will not be in action today, talked about the losing at the very end last year.
“Last year was heartbreaking,” he said. “I don’t normally shed tears, but as soon as I lost last year it was the first thing that happened, so I’m going to do everything I can.
“If someone needs me to be out there picking up balls while they’re practicing, I’m going to be doing that. I’ll do everything for the team this week, it’s not hard for me at all.”
Each day there will be four matches – 3 singles, 1 doubles. Each match win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday, and three points on Sunday. The first team to reach 13 points will win the Laver Cup.
Sets are best of 3 with a 10 point match tiebreak for the third.
Last year, Europe won 15-9 on the heels of Federer beating Kyrgios 11-9 in the match tiebreak to win it. Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick, is the event’s CEO.
Tennis Channel in the USA will have live coverage all weekend.
LAVER CUP FRIDAY SCHEDULE
DAY SESSION 1PM
G.DIMITROV VS F.TIAFOE
K.EDMUND VS J.SOCK
NIGHT SESSION 7PM
D.GOFFIN VS D.SCHWARTZMAN
N.DJOKOVIC/R.FEDERER VS K.ANDERSON/J.SOCK
LAVER CUP TEAMS
Captain: Bjorn Borg
 Roger Federer
 Novak Djokovic
 Alexander Zverev
 Grigor Dimitrov
 David Goffin
 Kyle Edmund
Alt  Jeremy Chardy
Captain: John McEnroe
 Kevin Anderson
 John Isner
 Diego Schwartzman
 Jack Sock
 Nick Kyrgios
 Frances Tiafoe
Alt  Nicolas Jarry
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