Tennis to launch Laver Cup, a Ryder Cup-style team event, in 2017
Team8, the agency that represents Federer, will create a team event modeled after golf’s Ryder Cup, reports the New York Times.
The Laver Cup, named after legendary Australian player Rod Laver, 77, is set to begin in 2017 and would match a European team against the best from the rest of the world.
Each team would have six players, with four on each team being taken based on ATP rankings, and the last two picked by the team captains. The three-day competition would have three singles matches and one doubles match a day.
The concept for a team contest in tennis comes from Roger Federer and his agency, Team8. According to Federer, the biggest goal of the competition is to honor the legacy of Laver. The New York Times also reports that the event has backing from Tennis Australia, which organizes the Australian Open, and Brazilian businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann, a former Davis Cup player.
“Rod Laver is someone I’ve always thought was very inspiring,” Federer told the Times. “I think it’s important to leave a legacy for the legends, and Rod Laver to me stands out because of his achievements and his character and everything.”
Laver, the only tennis player to ever win two Grand Slams, will pick the first set of captains.
“It’s just a great honor that my name is going to be on this,” Laver said. “I think all the European players now, they seem to be in the driver’s seat, but I think it will be a fair competition, and I think it will be very competitive. It’s a unique concept in tennis. It’s in golf, and it’s been successful anytime they’ve done it with the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup. I’ve never seen those events live, but I’ve watched them on television, and it seems to bring out the nerves.”