Laver CupRoger Federer

Laver Cup 2019 Preview – Will Team Europe’s Dominance Continue?

The third edition of the Laver Cup kicks off in Geneva on Friday 20th of September

The third edition of the Laver Cup takes place at Geneva's Palexpo in just under a week, and it's the first time the event is officially part of the ATP Calendar albeit with no ranking points at stake.

The 2019 tournament sees the return of Rafael Nadal to the fold and no doubt the Fedal doubles combination which delighted fans in Prague two years ago.

The players are set to arrive on Wednesday at noon with a meet and greet at the Palais Eynard. But what can we expect once play kicks off on Friday? The first thing to look at are the lineups.

The 2019 Laver Cup Teams

laver cup teams 2019
Team Europe Team World
Rafael Nadal John Isner
Roger Federer Milos Raonic
Dominic Thiem Nick Kyrgios
Alexander Zverev Denis Shapovalov
Stefanos Tsitsipas Jack Sock
Fabio Fogini Taylor Fritz
Roberto Bautista Agut (Alternate) Jordan Thompson (Alternate)
Captain: Bjorn Borg Captain: John McEnroe
Vice Captain: Thomas Enqvist Vice Captain: Patrick McEnroe

Quick Laver Cup 2019 Preview

Palexpo Laver Cup 2019

Team Europe has won both Laver Cups to date, and on paper, the boys in blue are streets ahead of the Team World in terms of rankings and achievements.

You can even make the argument that Europe's alternate in Bautista Agut is equal too or stronger than anyone in the Team World lineup 😆 but will it be easy pickings for Fed and co?

One thing we've learned from the previous two iterations is the cumulative scoring system means that even if the first couple of days are one-sided, a couple of good performances on Sunday can take the tournament to the wire.

Aside from having two massive servers that can take the racquet out of your hands, the other leveller for Team World is that Europe's two biggest names aren't exactly coming in fresh. You have Federer who will have practised very little after picking up a back/neck injury at the US Open, and Nadal who will be tired after his five-set US Open victory where apparently he was in bits the day after.

Given that I think Thiem and Tsitsipas are the two most important guys for Team Europe and seen as though they both played Davis Cup this weekend they should be more tuned up than the rest. I reckon we might even see Bautista Agut get a run out this year as the alternate, but we shall see.

Personally, I think Team World need to win it this year to get more of a rivalry going but either way I'm looking forward to the event and will try to watch as much as I can.

Can Federer coach Zverev to move further up to the baseline? Will it be more serious now  H2H is at stake? Will Fedal make a reappearance or is Fognini the doubles man? There'll be plenty of talking points I'm sure, and it should be another good weekend 🙂

Laver Cup 2019 Schedule

Date Time Matches
Friday 20th September 13:00 Match 1 (singles) + Match 2 (singles)
Friday 20th September 19:00 Match 3 (singles) + Match 4 (doubles)
Saturday 21st September 13:00 Match 5 (singles) + Match 6 (singles)
Saturday 21st September 19:00 Match 7 (singles) + Match 8 (doubles)
Sunday 22nd September 12:00 Match 9 (doubles) + Match 10, 11 and 12 (singles) + Decider (doubles) if required

Laver Cup Format

All matches at the Laver Cup are best of three sets with the deciding set being a 10 point tie break. Each player in the tournament plays at least one singles match during the first two days. No player can play singles more than twice during the three days. At least four of the six players must play doubles and no doubles combination is played more than once unless it's the deciding 12-12 match on Sunday.

As I mentioned above the scoring system is cumulative, so each match played at the event on Friday is worth one point, two points on Saturday, and three points on Sunday. The first team to reach 13 points wins the Laver Cup.

If there's a tie at 12:12, a doubles match is played by the teams which acts as the decider.

Federer Will Use Blue Limited Edition Wilson Pro Staff RF97

Federer Blue RF 97

The final bit of news is that Roger will use a blue limited edition Pro Staff 97. Last year he used a red frame in Chicago, so this looks like it will be a new Laver Cup trend.

Is the colour switch a good idea? It certainly is for Wilson's sales figures, but given how the Tuxedo frame caused him problems due to it playing differently (his own words) and was promptly binned, you'd guess this frame will play differently too. He seemed to handle the switch to red last year with no problem though, so we'll see if this blue frame is used for the entire weekend.

Pre Laver Cup Interview with Federer

Fed Blue Rf97

Originally published in the Aargauer Zeitung. English translation provided by @DorisLaRubia and minor edits from myself.

This weekend the 3rd Laver Cup takes place in Geneva. Here on Monday Roger Federer talks about his project, his health, the plans for the next year, his rival Rafael Nadal, who becomes a team member and meetings at the hotel bar.

It is the week before the Laver Cup, the trial of strength between Team Europe and Team World. Everywhere in Geneva flags are flying, also the busses promote the third edition of the event which takes place on the Palexpo ground. It is the collaborative work of Roger Federer and his manager Tony Godsick. On Monday the 20 times GS winner welcomes a chosen group of Swiss journalists in the best-located hotel and with view on the Lac Léman and talks about the time after the US Open, his health, the plans for the next year, discussions with Gerard Pique and meetings at the hotel bar.

Roger Federer, the last tournament was overshadowed by problems with the back. How are you meanwhile?

I was surprised how long I felt it, nearly 10, 12 days. I thought I would only feel it 2 or 3 days. That‘s probably just the age (laughs). Of course, I didn‘t take the same actions I would have done when I would have gone further at the US Open. Suddenly I had a lot of time. I flew back home and let it heal. I still feel it, but just a very little bit. It is only a question of time and nothing which should worry me any longer. I feel ready to play as much at the Laver Cup as needed.

Rafael Nadal won his 19th Grand Slam title at the US Open and is dangerously close to your record of 20 titles. Are you afraid of your record? How do you see his achievement?

It is an incredible achievement of him to win 2 Grand Slams this year. He didn‘t have it easy in the last years with his injuries on hard court. He had to change something and that turned out. For a short moment, it didn‘t look so good in Monaco but he could break free and has dominated since. I am never surprised by him as I know what he is capable of. Regarding the record? I was extremely happy when I could equalise and break the record back then. Nobody can take this away from me. When Nadal and Djokovic will overtake me once it‘s just like that. Nobody can take away my moments, my personal records. Maybe some of them will stay forever.

As similar as we are, as different, are our records. I am happy for everyone who can bring out the best of himself. When it is like that it isn‘t a problem. Of course, I could say: “I want everything for myself”, but that‘s not realistic. There is always a record to break. For me personally it is a deep satisfaction to play for a long time at age. I try to continue to win and also to keep playing for the title at the Grand Slams. We will see who will make it in the end. What has to be said is: It is just a fantastic time for tennis when you see these 3 players who have achieved so much.

Are there any tensions between you and Nadal in this race for records?

I think everyone notices how well Rafa and I get along and even are happy for each other. Of course, I would like to keep a record forever but at the same time it is an important aim to equalise a record or even break it – and that‘s what I managed to do with Sampras back then. Everything else was a bonus. I try to play my best career, the same tries Rafa. We all – the same goes for Djokovic – want to stay fit and healthy. That would be the best for tennis. We have to take the Grand Slam victories as long as we can as the young players are coming up. The respect between Nadal and me is actually enormous.

You said in New York you would make a timely decision about possible participation at the Olympics in Tokio. Are you going to be there?

I have decided internally what I want to play until and with Wimbledon. Now I concentrate on the question if I am going to play in Tokio. I have already talked about this with my team and asked how they see it. They said: “Hey, it‘s your decision, it‘s your Olympic Games, you will be the one who is playing.” I have also talked about it with Mirka if and how it would be possible. I surely will make a decision in the next weeks.

Is there a surprise in your tournament planning?

What can I say? I have to think about when I can make something public. But is this really necessary? For me, it is just important that I have the flow of the tournaments and the breaks, that I have enough time for the family. There is also the question of how much practice I need. I‘m not that flexible. I have to consider when I announce something. Will there be a surprise? I don‘t know. I have to go through everything again but for sure I want to make an early decision.

Does this mean that you know if you are going to play on clay or not?

I have decided for myself (laughs).

At the end of the year, you will travel for exhibitions to South America. Do you know how the program will look like?

The planning isn‘t fully over yet. I have already done this once before. That was the favourite ever tour of my father, he found it absolutely gigantic, just like me. For me especially the crowd was incredible. I have never experienced anything like that. That‘s why I always wanted to do it again. But I don‘t have the time for it every year – I have a family and have to look that the stress doesn‘t become too much. I said I can only do it when I can get 2 weeks holidays. Then I talked with Pierre Paganini if it would work out.

In the beginning of the year, you are playing in the newly created ATP Cup together with Henri Laaksonen but without Stan Wawrinka. Why?

As far as I know, Stan can‘t play there anymore as he didn‘t enter, which is, of course, a pity. I‘m not so sure if he can still enter later on. I plan though that Stan won‘t be there, alas.

Which challenges in the preparation do you see for yourself when you play exhibitions in South America at the end of November and the ATP Cup at the beginning of January?

The preparation is only one week shorter. Normally I started on December 4th, now it will be on December 11th. That is already arranged. I won‘t make any compromises. I don‘t have to be ready for 100% for the ATP Cup. My aim is the Australian Open, that‘s where my planning will be headed to.

Gerard Pique recently said that he wants to get you to play the Davis Cup next year. Are you playing with the thought of this?

Look, it‘s normal that he has to say this and that the topic is brought up again when the Davis Cup is being played. It‘s also normal that he talks with Tony (Godsick). I don‘t really plan to play the Davis Cup. There are also no discussions going on as he said. You talk but this is just more general in order to be on the same denominators regarding the Laver Cup, Davis Cup or whatever. That‘s also more talking to the ITF and not directly with Pique.

Personally I hope that the Davis Cup will go well – just like the ATP Cup. And it is clear that you will sit together at the end of the year or in the middle of next year and ask the question: How will things go on? Now there is the Davis Cup and the ATP Cup – will this go on forever? Are these changes which are good for tennis? I am not so sure. At the ATP Cup, the top players are there because they want to play in Australia anyway. The Davis Cup is obviously not that happy about it. It will surely get interesting.

His place secured has the Laver Cup which takes place for the third time this year. What does it mean to you that with Geneva Switzerland will host it?

I‘m extremely looking forward to the home crowd and the atmosphere. Also to spend time with Björn Borg. That‘s a childhood dream come true. He is actually nearly a bigger number than the hero of my youth, Stefan Edberg. I never thought it would be possible to experience this in my career in Geneva. It will surely be an incredible, very special event.

You are not only a player at the Laver Cup but also a co-organizer. Are you more nervous because of this?

When I look back on my last week of holiday I probably thought the most about the doubles. Which pairs should we make? Who is going to play on Friday, who on Saturday? That‘s the kind of things which went to my mind. It‘s already the third edition of the Laver Cup and I made my experiences as organizer.

In the beginning, I was asking myself “How many people will come for the first match on Friday afternoon? Will those people stay the whole day?“ But Prague and Chicago have shown me. The fans stay as long as the players give everything and the team colleagues will watch the matches and the atmosphere is great. Of course, you could think that this event in Switzerland is more important to me personally. But I have seen how quickly the tickets were sold out and I know that the Palexpo hall will work as a venue. I‘m certain that it will be a great weekend.

Is the arrival of the players for you a bit like the coming together of a school camp?

I have only been once to a school camp. And for this, I had to skip the Swiss Junior Championships in Luzern! But I so wanted to take part in a ski camp… (laughs) Yes, it is indeed a bit like that. There won‘t just come the Davis Cup colleagues and the players won‘t arrive with the car. Here come way more guys – seven – and the circle is way more international and therefore also needs way more organization. Everyone arrives, it has to be seen who practices with whom, where do we eat out? Does someone have special wishes etc? There are great guys amongst us – laid-backs, funny ones. We will have a good time in the team. Even though we may be won‘t be as loud as Team World with Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios. From experience, we know that they go crazy! But we have a big team spirit and are just a bit different than the others. Yes, it is a bit of school camp feeling, especially when we will all be finally together. But in our chat, everything is already going on.

Do you have a new WhatsApp Chat in the team or do you continue with the one from last year with Novak Djokovic?

(laughs) You would love to listen to it, right?! No, the chat is actually quite serious most of the time but when we have certain topics someone makes a joke. The chat-group from last year still exists. I think that everyone belongs to it who once took part. I‘m also someone who likes to look back and to refer to previous years. But in reality, the old chat became a bit silent and a new one is activated.

Have you learned something about your rivals because you saw them so close at the Laver Cup?

For me, it is especially exciting to be around Nadal and Djokovic for a week. To spend a week with Rafa and to see how high his intensity is. How does he manage to relax off-court? How does he reach this balance? When you can‘t do it you go nuts. He has it with his colleagues, with his team. When his practice is done he is a relaxed guy – exactly like I knew him. It has impressed me how he always looks for opportunities. He returns from the back and from the front, plays with slice, with spin. He is always on the lookout.

How have you seen Novak Djokovic?

He also has his relaxed but serious side. We are all very similar. To be successful you have to have it. We play so many matches – 50 to 100. It isn‘t like in boxing where you have one, two fights a year. You have to be relaxed 5 minutes before a match. What impressed me the most in Djokovic is his clarity in which he wants to win his match. He says to himself: “I play like this, that leads to success.” Also his whole sequence: How and when he has to eat. Everything has to fit together. I respect that enormously. He knows exactly how he can be ready on point.

How do you see your team members this week?

Thiem says „yes“ to everything: He is totally relaxed, also towards the media. This is a fact. He is known to be super relaxed. Zverev is still young and learning but he actually is also very open and relaxed. At one point he goes into a tunnel. I don‘t know Tsitsipas very well that‘s why I‘m curious how the week will be. Fognini is also totally relaxed. I don‘t know how much he does before a match. Rafa is just an incredible team player. He just needs enough practice. He needs to have one extra hour. I don‘t know how he does it if he sleeps in the afternoon. That is especially important for him. They are all big team players. Novak was incredible, what he needs for his matches, his whole sequence: How and when he has to eat. Everything has to fit together.

And in the evening you meet at the hotel bar?

From time to time, sure. Then we have a drink together. We are all in the same hotel. Team World is in another hotel. There are evenings when we go out for dinner and bring someone along. Personally I try to keep my team small, I want to exemplify that we are a small group. I find it amazing to sit together at a table with Stefanos, Sascha, Thiem and Rafa and we are able to talk about different things. We also drink coffee together, hang around in general and spend a lot of time together.

How do you see Nick Kyrgios?

We have a good fellowship with Team World but it‘s separate. It is a healthy rivalry. Nick for example and Jack Sock are louder when Zverev plays. He finds it quite funny in the beginning but then it is getting on his nerves. And they know that. They are very euphoric on the bench.

On Friday everything is still funny, on Saturday some are annoyed and on Sunday it is getting very serious. The pressure and the tension are increasing and when the opponent wins it‘s getting less fun for you. I have seen Nick as a good team player. I‘m glad that he is here even though from time to time he is controversial,

What do you say to both teams and the imbalance? Europe is the clear favourite.

As long as Europe is strong it has to be the aim to win. Some day things will turn around, even though maybe not immediately. But Team World is favourite in doubles and has big servers who will like the high altitude of Geneva so it surely will get close again. We have seen that in Prague and Chicago. It was our luck that we could decide the close matches for us. I don‘t just say it for the sake of it – I really think that it will get more balanced then it appears on paper. On this paper, our 6th player is still better than the first one of the opponent. But I still have the feeling that it will get close again. There only seems to be this one way at the Laver Cup – and it is a close one.

Have you already seen the hall?

No, not yet. I arrived on Sunday and will practise on Monday afternoon for the first time. I heard from others, for example from people from our sponsor Mercedes, that it is the best hall they have ever seen. That has honestly said surprised me. The Chicago Bulls Arena is actually a Non-Plus-Ultra Stadion which can‘t be topped. But I believe it also has its charm when you can build in a hall exactly what you want. They think that in Geneva the best edition of the Laver Cup can take part – and as it comes from someone indifferent, who only concentrates on the best, it means something. It will have his special charm as it is built temporarily. I‘m looking forward to seeing everything. It will be huge. I know that Tony Godsick and his people have spared neither trouble nor expense to create an incredible event. That‘s why I only expect the best – not only for us players but also for the sponsors and especially for the fans.

There will be a big fan zone.

On Thursday there is a big fan day, where the crowd can come and watch us practice. And on Friday to Sunday, there are also great opportunities to be a part of the spectacle without a ticket and to experience the cool atmosphere. A lot of money was invested in this, the event will be so much more than a tennis tournament!

Should On Running Product a Tennis Shoe for Fed?

Fed Cloudx

Those of you who are eagled eyed will have noticed Federer has been wearing On Running shoes for a while now off the court. Pictured above he's wearing the White CloudX shoes for mixed training.

The firm is a Swiss brand and specialises mainly in athletics and road running shoes. Could they make Federer a new tennis shoe? I don't think they will as it's not really their ball game, but it'd be interesting to see if they did. What do you think?


Laver Cup Day 1 Schedule – 20th September 2019

  Team Europe Team World
Day Session 1 pm    
Match 1 Dominic Thiem Denis Shapovalov
Match 2 Fabio Fognini Jack Sock
Night Session 7 pm    
Match 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas Taylor Fritz
Match 4 Roger Federer / Alexander Zverev Denis Shapovalov / Jack Sock

Do you like the racquet? Are you guys looking forward to the Laver Cup III? I know some of you guys are going for the full weekend, so if you are, let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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      1. Hey Wanda,
        I’m happy we get to meet in person ! We have to organise this well and agree on a place to meet before the event.
        Do you have any suggestions?

      2. Hi Anna and Alex,
        Lovely! No idea what’s the venue like but we’ll work something out from the map where to meet. I’m happy to give you guys my contact directly by email through Jonathan, if he wouldn’t mind?
        Hey Jonathan, could you kindly give my email address to Anna, please? Thanks!

  1. I wonder why the US tennis school does not produce a top player since Agassi.
    There was MacEnroe, Connors, Courier, Sampras, Agassi, and then… a void.
    Or maybe european tennis (whatever that might be) took off and never looked back/down.

    1. They have had a few hyped players but none of them every really came on, Sock, Kozlov, Harrison. Then just some solid ones but nobody outstanding.

      I would call Roddick a top player though, he won titles every year for like 10 seasons in a row.

    1. Thie is probably dealing (wrong) with a virus infection or following bacterial infections since off-season on Tenerife. Still coming back to play too early. Now DC was completely not necessary. He will not, but I would recommend him to skip LC too. His London spot (which is more important than DC and LC) is still not guaranteed. Because of LC he skips Petersburg, where he won a title last year and should defend it.
      I don’t believe, Zverev will after such a bad year suddenly play big. Tsitsupas also had not such a stellar year. Maybe Fabio?
      Europe is not so stron this year as so far. If Kyrgios takes it seriously, who knows?

  2. Jonathan, “in bits”? I’m guessing exhausted?
    I see there are no Russians in LC. Would they be world or europe? JMac says they should be world. And, I did mention a while ago, Felix AA is going to Asia to play even though he was invited to LC. How insane is that?
    I don’t agree with ATP points at this event. It is invite only, based on the coaches choice. Not fair.
    Is Djokovic sitting at home pouting?

    1. The boundary Europe/Asia is purely political. Geographically it’s a single continent. A valid case can be made for Russia playing for either team, so it all boils down to make both teams as balanced as possible, which is a hard task when you consider that R,R&N are eligible for team Europe.
      Ah, the racquet. Nice. I like blue. And black. And red. And white. And yellow. Green not so much so it’s fine!

      1. Russia is European to me. Most Russians consider themselves European, the further east you go then some will class their location as Asia but not many.

    2. If that’s the case then I agree that it should not have points involved. I understand the need to have the players motivated for the event but when some are left out for no objective criteria…

      1. Now you speak about Laver Cup or ATP Cup? ATP Cup is not only in the calendar, it has 750 ranking points for the winning team I guess.

    3. Ye, just tired and a few niggles. I read Moya said he was struggling to put his jeans on. I assume he wasn’t putting his socks on while standing up for a couple of days after.

      Laver Cup isn’t invite only, it’s based on rankings for 3 players on each team. The other 3 are invited. I don’t mind that at all. Should wildcards at slams not get ranking points?

      1. I don’t think you can compare a slam with a main draw of 128 players to LC. We will agree to disagree. Anyway, how many points are awarded?
        So jealous of those going. I will be out of town so don’t think I’ll be able to catch any of it.

  3. Now, all of this is very nice in Nice, but what really matters is:
    How do you think Fed will play? Free and loose or flat and unmotivated? Or something in between?…

    1. Fed will play like he usually play in exhibitions. Loose and freely. If some problems with back/neck should emerge, he can play less matches and let others play more.

    2. He won’t be flat or unmotivated, as usually seems to enjoy the team environment. But depends on how the back is I guess.

      I have never seen Fed play the Laver Cup like an Exhibition. The singles have been cagey affairs with some tight points.

  4. As soon as I heard Geneva, I signed up. I love Laver Cup, couldnt miss it.
    I think Russia should go into World for the puposes of LC. Politically Moscow is considered a European City and anything west of the Urals and north of Caucasian Mtns but beyond that it’s crazy to call it Europe.

    1. It’s everything conventional. Geographically we have actually Eurasia as single continent. Politically and culturally Russia and Balkan on the one side and continental Europe are different worlds. Some like Poland sit with one leg here and the other there.
      The definition EUROPE and WORLD for LaverCup is even more conventional, because in every other aspect WORLD contains of course Europe too.
      Russian are not interested in any case, just having home tournament in Petersburg at the time of LaverCup and they will not miss it.
      Best 3 Russians (Medvedev, Khachanov, Rublev) come from Moscow but 2 of them live either in Dubai or Monaco. So it’s even more conventional.
      Federer is Swiss but lives more often in Dubai than in Switzerland.
      And they all live the most part of the year somewhere where the tournament is just played or in jets.
      For LaverCup it’s simply symbolic, so to have some competitive balance between teams.
      The biggest tennis nations are (historically) Australians, French, Spaniards and Italians.
      Chaotic global world. The best they call them Team I and Team II, arbitrarily composed.
      If it’s for Rod Laver, should be actually be Australia vs. The World.
      The same with roots and formal nationality. Bencic is formally Swiss, but born Slovakian (like Hingis), training in Slovakia, playing in the world, maybe once a year in Switzerland. Laaksonen has Finnish roots (Bedene Slovenian), both have 2 passwords. And so on.
      Quite complicated.

      1. PRF this post is incomprehensible 😆 I remember Armstrong told you to think before you type, but you’ve gone from Europe and Asia, to tax residency, to why laver cup should be Australia vs World, then to Bencic being Slovakian. Garbage.

      2. @Jon
        You mean, Dubai is tax-Residency for Fed? I thought, he lives there over substantial part of the yer.
        Yeah – maybe a bit chaotic. Simply reflection coming when typing 😉
        The common sense was the meaning of nationality in global sport. I think, we should forget the nationality. Let it be private. Having some talent in sports, you can change “nationality” (rather citizenship) in days. I understand it, they get more money, have better conditions for training a.s.o.

        But why we need to call Bencic Swiss or Wozniacki Dane (Pole with Danish citizenship, living in US). Let’s call them all by names, don’t use flags, ban professional sports from Olympics or don’t call it Olympics (historically it has some meaning, long no more reality).

        My post is chaotic because the nationality in (pro) sports is a garbage 😉

      3. Federer is a Swiss tax resident. I would say he spends more time in Switzerland per year than Dubai. He has this year for certain.

        Bencic is a Swiss national, born in Switzerland to Slovakian parents. What are the pros of not using peoples nationalities? Or hiding them? I don’t really see the benefit of disguising it and you haven’t given any either 😆

        Olympics should certainly be only amateur sports. So golf and tennis should not be there. But that’s a completely different debate and has nothing to do with nationality.

      4. @Jon
        I know, Fed is Swiss tax payer. I know, Belinda and Stan were born in Switzerland and Zverev in Germany. Still their (Belinda and Sasha, not sure about Stan), but their respective family languages are Slovaklian and Russian.
        Citizenship and nationality is not the same.

        We abuse different symbols (flags, nationality, citizenship, religion) only to stimulate bad emotions.

        I cannot watch, when sportsmen run with the flag around the track, than shedding tears when their (really?) national anthem is played (but they don’t understand the words) and go to tank cash from global sponsors.

      5. Hm, I don’t have a problem with flags and nationality. But I like sovereignty and the nation-state. Bencic is Swiss with strong Slovakian roots, I don’t see the problem with her representing Switzerland. Is Fed Swiss, his mum is South African?

        You will always have sportspeople who are a bit do as I say, not as I do. It’s certainly silly if you see a player draped in the flag but they’re a non-dom paying zero per cent tax in Monte Carlo or wherever 😆

      6. Well, we have different life stories, I guess. In the history of my country mostly bad things happened under flags and religious symbols. Not only against my country/nation, but also by my country/nations. Since ages.

        I don’t like (first of all for my country) the flag- or hymn-patriotism , because it’s mostly against someone else not for someone.

        Or it’s like I see in the forest on every home a Polish flag, waving over 2 weeks long on every opportunity. They don’t even understand the occasion. it’s only for show. Next day they go to thew forest and leave there plastic, glass bottles and cans, used condoms, pampers, batteries, every kind of building materials and debris. They regularly destroy sites of beavers a.s.o.

        I don’t want to be seen as a member of this society. That’s why I’m living alone, with a dog and wild around. This is my “nation”. Flags not necessary 😉

        I think, Fed is Swiss, no matter the nationality of his mother, but he understands it differently – he loves Swiss landscape (probably with no plastic and other garbage in forests), he loves to speak Basler Dialekt. This is a kind of positive patriotism. Him paying tax in Swiss is quite the same.

      7. @Jon
        P for Poland (actually for “Polish) – hahaha, I knew, you would catch me.
        Well, I’m Polish. I have Polish parents, I’m Polish citizen, Polish is my mother-tongue, I’m even using Polish in my profession.

        It’s OK for me, if nationality is meant informative.

        PRF has it’s “history”. I started to comment on the old Federer’s website. The vast majority there were English-natives. Sometimes I had “rants” with other usesrs and they used to use my poor English as an argument against me.

        I cannot recall if I started there with PRF and maybe only few knew, what it stood for. Then I was sometimes posting as FRP or using the subject of the post as temporary identity a.s.o. Professional disease 😉 And I was happy to see EN-natives to correct my wrong English, because I was to some extent there to learn 🙂

        But I think, since I’m posting here and using my blogs, I have never disclosed, what PRF stands for, I guess?

    2. Even worse with ATP Cup. Thiem (ranked 5.) will have partners ranked about 160), Tsitsipas will have 2 best another Greeks, ranked 500+ and 700+. Spain comes with Nadal, Agut and Verdasco, Germans with Russion Zverev, Struff and Kohlschreiber. Crazy.
      Only open tournaments have sense..

      1. Well Thiem has just lost to a guy ranked 163 in the world, so I wouldn’t be writing his countrymen off as dead wood just yet. He had to rely on 122nd ranked Dennis Novak to bail the team out!

      2. OK, you are trolling me again, but it”s OK 🙂
        I will deliver some information you may not know.
        Dennis Novak (Thiem’s closest friend, since school years) is 12-17 (matches won/lost) on ATP Tour for a career, being Thiem’s age-mate. He was in form, he plays mostly on his level according to ranking and was just good enough to defeat 2:1 the 30 years old Finn ranked 700+ 😉
        I guess Thiem would not lose to the 163 (who was just in-form, playing home and playing really well), but he would have no chance if Thiem was able to play at least his C-game. Thiem is still ill´and originally didn’t plan to play DC, rather prepare for RLC. Now I’m not sure if Thiem should play RLC. He needs to get healthy (he is in form and fit, but weakened by the virus or whatever it is.
        Thiem was playing like in USO vs. Fabbiano. This is not the level you expect from Top5 guy..

  5. It’s more or less the same with Davis Cup. The best players of each country are usually not available. Otherwise Switzerland would have bagged a lot of trophies. On their top form Fed and Wawrinka are indestructible.
    That said, these tournaments are nice, but what they mean nationality wise, team wise, or any other [collective concept] wise, is very little.

    1. I haven’t paid much attention at all to this ATP Cup thing, no idea on the format or what is at stake tbh but open minded so see what it’s like.

      Tennis is an individual sport but mixing it up with a team even now and again is fine. I like Laver Cup for that reason. I wasn’t a fan of the ticket prices for Geneva when I looked though, seemed like they were cashing in a bit there. I would have preferred to see it in another country too, one where tennis is less popular or has no real big tournament. Maybe somewhere in Eastern Europe.

      1. RLC is nice because it uses also another symbols, like Fedal. Europe or World are here consciously not very serious symbols. No flags, no hymns or the like. Teams of quite big rivals in the sport. Fedal means more than any flag.
        ATP Cup should be another nationality hype, like they say “for the love of country”.
        There may be of course a lot of interesting matches and maybe good preparation for many to Australian Open. If you forget the nationality hype, it’s OK 🙂 There is money and ranking points involved.

  6. Sue, have you ever been to the Brockton Oval at Brockton Point? They were just talking about it on TMS as the most beautiful cricket ground in the world. Looks good.

    1. Nice. No, I’ve never been to the oval. Don’t watch cricket. I’ve been to Stanley Park many times though. It’s a great place for biking or walking the seawall. Great views of the mountains, ocean, Lions Gate Bridge etc. Busy in tourist season though.

    2. Cool, I guess they struggle to maintain a wicket with the winters. Looks like an artificial strip.

      Sir Geoffrey called it the best cricket ground in the world, written in a book given to him by Donald Bradman.

  7. @Jon
    You wrote this Olympics should certainly be only amateur sports. So golf and tennis should not be there.” Do you believe, any amateur sport still exists? Light athleticism? 100% professional. Football? Volleyball, Boxing? Cycling? Gymnastics?
    Modern Olympics is the biggest lie on Earth.

    1. Boxing is amateur at the Olympics.

      It’s clearly never as pure as it was when the concept first started but there are plenty of sports still in it where the athletes are not full-time professionals.

      Football shouldn’t be in it.

      1. Well, there are only different levels of professionality. I know from my private contacts, that even third-league football or volley players are full-time professionals and able to afford for their life without any additional job. I guess, it’s the same in every sport.
        You and me and Rui and others from this “club” – we are amateurs 😉 We can play at Olympics 🙂

      2. When you start to create the list of sports, which should not be at Olympics, it can be small one-day event, not broadcast and only few locals coming to watch 😉

      3. Football isn’t a good example though. You don’t need private contacts to know it’s a full time job even in some of the lower leagues 😆

        There are many sports where the athletes are not full time as the money isn’t there to allow them to.

  8. Loads of posts since USO, never loses passion for tennis, Jonathan!
    What’s up to Stan, withdrawing from St petersburg? Will he be in Geneva after all?

    1. I heard they couldn’t work out a deal originally for Stan to play LC. Hope it’s not the knee.
      I’m thinking Thiem should think about taking the rest of the year off. Seems like he is heading to a bad place.

  9. Bow shooting? Fencing?
    Some sports, like yachting or equestrian sports are maybe not paid (= not professionals) but are meant for rich people, for whom it’s a part of daily life and who does not need to be paid.
    Amateur = for rich only?

    1. I can give you some insight here. I have a good friend who will compete in Tokio at sailing and I can tell you it is a full time job and he can live well with what he is earning (and he is not rich).

      I would say that all the Olympic sports have full time profesional athletes.

      1. All sports have some full-time athletes. State-sponsored etc.

        There are still plenty of athletes that compete at the Olympics who are amateur and sports that are in the main amateur discipline.

        Squash should be in the Olympics tbh, lots of players in that are amateur doing other stuff to supplement it.

  10. It’s really a shame Stan isn’t in Geneva. How is it possible they failed to work out a deal? Playing in St Petersburg instead!? Apparently he hasn’t signed up for the ATP Cup either. Has “crybaby” Mirka given him a hard time again, or what?

    1. Stan was scheduled for St Petersburg but withdrew. Dunno why.

      I dunno how payment works for LC, I think the winners get $250k each. Not bad for a weekends work. Then there’s prob an appearance fee.

      1. And that’s probably the real deal. Not prize for winning, but appearance fee. Stan had the same with Geneva tournament earlier, at the starting without any appearance fee.
        Probably Stan’s requirements were too high for Team8.
        Stan withdrawing from St. Petersburg may be a sign, he will maybe replace Thiem, who was in Finnland far from his normal shape.
        On the other hand – Massú is coming today to Vienna, so maybe it’s still open with Thiem’s participation in RLC.

      2. $250k for each player on the winning team and an appearance fee which corresponds to their ranking. So Stan wasn’t going to bet that expensive.

      3. That’s official. Never heard about unofficial appearance fees, by far higher than the official prize money for tournament’s winner?
        Last year Krajicek was telling the press about Fed’s appearance fee for Rotterdam and it was a lot more than winner’s prize money.
        Who sets rules for RLC, is Team8, I guess and they can do what they want, because they are owners of the tournament.

      4. From what I see on Thiem’s Instatory, he is going to play RLC, so Stan’s withdrawal from St. Petersburg must have different causes. Well, we don’t know, what’s going on under the table 😉

    1. ¿What happened with Wawrinka? I thought the rankings determines who plays the ATP Cup, but Roger said he can’t entry…

  11. I’m going! Let me know if you want to meet up for drink 🍷!! Arrive Friday, going straight to the Palexpo!

    I think given recent form, injury and illness, that the teams are actually pretty even.
    I did think Thiem shld pull out but seems not. Will Milos play tho? Hasnt played for a while!

    Looking forward to it all


  12. Nothing to do with the post, but I just wondered:
    ¿Anyone can tell me what was that “whistle” we can hear in matches from the past (before Hawk Eye), mostly when someone made a fault on serve? ¿How did it work?

    1. Cyclops, it worked by Infra-red light and the ball breaking the beam. I think there were some questions around reliability but not sure. The umpire had to activate it before every serve as well which was a bit annoying. I might do a quick post on it actually, good idea 🙂

      1. ¿For how long it was introduced?
        I remember that ESPN had their own “shotspot” but I think it was very flawed hence they didn’t had the cameras used for Hawk Eye now.

    1. Well, just found it scheduled on Eurosportplayer, which is of course the best option. Before there was no hint there, they would stream it. I was asking the support, but they thought it wouldn’t be streamed. Now you called Eurosport and I looked immediately to Eurosportplayer – thanks Jon, you made my day 🙂

      1. Another good news. They say, there is no geoblocking for Poland and I don’t need to pay, because my 1-month subscription, which I needed to watch US Open, is still vaslid 🙂

    1. Fed should try rather Tarahumara sandals or barefoot running. I have an article on my blog comparing Fed’s footwork with Tarahumara running style 😉
      On can easily make Fed a shoe for barefoot running 😉

    2. I’d never heard of them before, they run miles and miles.

      I wouldn’t fancy playing tennis barefoot on any other court than grass. Would be blisters galore.

      1. Tarahumara are running over mountains – rocks, stones, sand, soil, grass, whatever. Ask them if they have blisters.
        It’s civilization destroying us, not nature. I have read lots of articles of sports medicine experts telling, running using modern sporting shoes destroys our feet, knees, back, any joint, spine.

        Federer is a born forefoot-runner (that’s how Tarahumara run), while most (white) people are heel-strikers. This is his big advantage. Anyone can learn this kind of running, but only few know, they should.

        Of course not possible to run barefoot in tennis, not so much because of the surface, more because of the unnatural movements, which is no way a natural running.

        Look how Tiafoe walks or runs – it’s forefoot. Just like Fed. Fed may he it from African roots.

        Heel-strikers will get more often blisters, roll ankles a.s.o.

        I guess, Federer’s shoes are made taking into account his natural running style.

      2. This is all for heel-strikers and does not affect forefoot-strikers.
        Did Fed ever have twisted ankle? Almost impossible, if he “strikes” with forefoot (not really strikes,it’s very soft touch – maybe that’s why his movement looks so smooth and soft like – in fact it does not look like this, it is like this), the shock of the weight of the body is then softly absorbed by the rest of the foot, almost never reaching ankles.

      3. Of course, barefoot running is possible. But like I said, in tennis no, there are too many changes of direction, sliding etc. It would be possible on grass but if you’ve ever seen a tour-level hard court or hit on one, they are rough. Like sandpaper.

        Federer used to wear ankle braces, he was out for a bit with a twisted ankle. Now he tapes them. So he’s not immune to ankle injuries.

        This forefoot stuff sounds too complicated. He is just well balanced. If you are moving at speed the ball of your foot tends to be the area that takes the landing, not the heel.

      4. What about sprinters? It’s not about the speed but about lots of short violent movements, all the time changing direction, braking and running back a.s.o.

        I don’t really think, playing tennis barefoot would be possible.
        But – certain famous Brazilian footballer Leonidas, was playing barefoot (like on the beach).

      5. Well, Tarahumara run barefoot also on very hard. Barefoot tennis (on any surface) is only a joke. Would be another sport. Like beach tennis, where you play volley only, because of no bounce. Closer to volleyball than to tennis.

        What we can take from TZarahumara to tennis, is only forefoot riunning style, but Fed does not need it, he does it since ever. Of course I don’t know if this was so when he was 2 or 3, meaning inborn or he learned it from some of his coaches. My feeling is, it’s inborn.

      1. Poland is also not there. But they stream to Vatican 🙂
        The “How To Watch” page of the RLC website didn’t realize at all, that Eurosport will stream everywhere (but, guess why, not in France and Holland).

        Fed needs to change the webmaster (or overtake this role too) One-man-orchestra is something suiting well Fed 🙂

    1. Haha, I had my taste this summer. Perhaps I will do it a little bit more. But it’s a tough job, no set meal times, rushing around a lot.

      George Bellshaw getting the fact he’s Vegan into the first sentence of his answer 😆 doing wonders for the stereotype there.

  13. Watch family photos here The whole World team – arms crossed. The whole Europa team – arms hanging down (only Björn Borg crossed). What’s your interpretation?

    Here’s mine.
    Europe – arms hanging down – fully relaxed, just going to give you heavy beating.
    World – arms crossed, a bit embarrassed and defensive gesture. Don’t beat us too hard, please 😉

    1. It is a shame this contest is that lopsided. It would be more interesting to watch sth like Northern Europe vs Southern Europe lol.

      1. I don’t think it will be as one-sided as it looks on paper. You have Fed with a back problem, Nadal probably taking it easy after USO. Isner seems to play well in team conditions too.

      2. If it is not lopsided is because of the format which I dislike. If the purpose of this was to really have a competition and not an exhibition there wouldn’t be such a big discrepancy on the value of wins from one day to another.

        I was saying lopsided on the talent level, not necessarily on the “competition” itself.

      3. The points count at RLC is of course a bit weird, but this is for show. The competition is real in every single match, because everyone will give all to get a win before such legends. The competition is less real in terms of the whole tournament, which is an exhibition for sure.
        Both teams are defined arbitrarily. but Kyrgios is a danger never proportional to his ranking. Kevin Anderson would make the potential more leveled, Nishikori is not there (probably because of upcoming Asian Tour).
        On the other side, like Jon said, not everyone stand to their potential (ranking) for different reasons. I would add Thiem, which is a big unknown after US-disaster and virus infection maybe still present (given what was his performance in Helsinki). Zverev in a big low since long time, just turned the DF-Kiing of the tour. Tsitsipas in a low too.
        I would not be surprised, if team WORLD wins.

      4. What I would love to see is a match between two heavyweights (two of the Big 3) playing for the fate of a team. The atmosphere that a team event creates is very special.

        To me it is a shame what happened with the Davis Cup over the last few years. I would have liked that players had taken it seriously. Probably the ATP should have freed the calendar somehow.

        Some of the most excited matches I have seen were in the Davis Cup final with amazing crowds.

      5. @Jon
        I don’t get your point. Assuming there are 3 singles and 1 doubles every day (like they are) and every match won is 1 point. the final result is 7:5 or 6:4 … or it’s tied 6:6 and you need to play something additional (for instance a match tie-breaker for the last match or another pair, drawn randomly after the last match, to play a match breaker, whatever), to make it 7:6 for the winner. What’s really the difference to call it tournament or not?
        I think it’s only about building (artificial) drama. And of course the biggest names will play on the last day and then maybe again in the extra doubles match. Good for exhibition, nothing to do with real competition.
        It’s not a tournament really. It’s an exhibition and the format can be defined arbitrarily. If individual matches are competitive, it’s only about the ambition of individual players. Which team wins on the end, has no meaning. 250k USD is not such a big money to let guys play seriously.

      6. @Jon
        Dos it matter so much if we call it tournament or not? It’s a big event in tennis, with high level and emotions. What do you need more to have a perfect show?
        Can’t tell anything about Ryder Cup. Golf is a sport with no action so it’s rather for snobs and connoisseurs, I guess. I would never go to watch a golf match or get emotional about perfect shots 😉

      7. The Ryder Cup is amazing PRF and very emotional.

        Tiger Woods’s shot on this year’s Augusta is one of the most electrifying sport moments I have ever seen.

      8. Not sure what you mean, my point was with 1 point per match, I think you’d need more players to make it into an interesting concept.

        Disagree about golf but guess it gets very little coverage in Poland for you to have ever seen much of it.

      9. @Jon
        You may disagree. It’s individual. Some believe, bridge is a sport too. Or snooker.
        It’s not about coverage. With Eurosport I have the coverage, but not my sports. Just like football or volleyball or surfing or swimming.
        You should watch, be emotional and happy. For me it’s boring. No matter, who plays. If you don’t like the sport, how can you be emotional even with highest mastery?

  14. Day 1 schedule out for the Laver Cup. Fed playing doubles.

    Day Session 1 pm

    Match 1 Dominic Thiem vs Denis Shapovalov
    Match 2 Fabio Fognini vs Jack Sock

    Night Session 7 pm

    Match 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Taylor Fritz
    Match 4 Roger Federer / Alexander Zverev vs Denis Shapovalov / Jack Sock

  15. I’m finding it a little disconcerting that Roger’s back/neck injury has taken that long to go. I know it’s a different one from the normal back problem, but I had really thought it would take only a few days to get rid of it.

  16. Fognini being advised by both Rafa and Roger is wonderful to see. The show is on the court and during breaks as well. “Je me régale !”

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