Laver CupRoger Federer

Team Europe Win Inaugural Laver Cup

A little late to the party here but the first ever Laver Cup saw Team Europe triumph over Team World in Prague 15-9 after Fed sealed the tie with a 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 11-9 victory over Nick Kyrgios on Sunday.

Rather than do a recap of Federer's matches I thought I'd just give some quick thoughts on the Laver Cup and then the comments section can takeover as I'm interested to hear what people think of it all. The reason I didn't post during the event with any updates is because I was in Prague over the weekend to watch so I saw it all first hand which probably makes me somewhat biased 🙂 . However, based on my Twitter feed it's been very well received by fans across the world so I'm interested to hear what you guys think.

Quick Event Recap


For those who weren't following, the competition is loosely based on the Ryder Cup but with an incremental point scoring system. One point is awarded for wins on Day 1, two points for wins on day two and then three points for victories on day 3.

Europe got off to a flying start winning 3 of the 4 matches on both Day 1 and Day 2 to lead 9-3 but with the points system designed to ensure Sunday's play won't be a formality things got interesting after Team World won the opening doubles and then Isner beat Nadal to close the gap to 12-9. That gave Kyrgios the chance to force a deciding doubles 1 set shootout if he beat Roger. However, Federer saved match point and won 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 11-9 and then the celebrations kicked off in style.


Day 1
Marin Cilic (Europe) def. Frances Tiafoe (World) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-0) 1-0
Dominic Thiem (Europe) def. John Isner (World) 6-7 (17-15) 7-6 (7-2) 1-0 (10-7) 2-0
Alexander Zverev (Europe) def. Denis Shapovalov (World) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) 3-0
Nick Kyrgios & Jack Sock (World) def. Tomas Berdych & Rafael Nadal (Europe) 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 1-0 (10-7) 3-1
Day 2
Roger Federer (Europe) def. Sam Querrey (World) 6-2 6-4 5-1
Rafael Nadal (Europe) def. Jack Sock (World) 6-3 3-6 1-0 (11-9) 7-1
Nick Kyrgios (World) def. Tomas Berdych (Europe) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 1-0 (10-6) 7-3
Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal (Europe) def. Sam Querrey & Jack Sock (World) 6-4 1-6 1-0 (10-5) 9-3
Day 3
Jack Sock & John Isner (World) def. Tomas Berdych & Marin Cilic (Europe) 7-6 7-6 9-6
Alexander Zverev (Europe) def. Sam Querrey (World) 6-4 6-4 12-6
John Isner (World) def. Rafael Nadal (Europe) 7-5 7-6 12-9
Roger Federer (Europe) def. Nick Kyrgios (World) 4-6 7-6 1-0 (11-9) 15-9

Final Score: Team Europe 15 – 9 Team World

Thoughts on the Laver Cup


I was lucky enough to be there for all three days of the event so I had a live taste of what the tournament is all about. Unfortunately, I had to leave on Sunday afternoon so missed Federer's match with Kyrgios but I caught it all on live stream at the airport, so the positive side of that is that I also got to see how it came across on TV with the commentary etc.

In terms of the live stuff, arriving at the o2 on Friday I wasn't really sure what to expect. Would it be competitive? Was it going to be an exhibition with players larking around on the court like the IPTL? Both those questions were answered in the opening match between Cilic and Tiafoe (full crowd for a 1pm start which is rare) which saw both of them play hard from the off. There were no exhibition shots or tippy tappy rallies with pointless lobs to get tweeners in play and that set the tone for the rest of weekend with every match being serious business. The doubles naturally had a more relaxed vibe to it especially with Fedal giggling between points but when it came down to the bigger points it was very much about zoning in and trying to get that first serve and volley winner into play.

Looking at the event in isolation and treating it as just a ‘one off', then it gets a big thumbs up from me. I thought it was very well presented; Prague's location, public transport, and venue was certainly a great choice, the new camera angles worked, the 10 point tie break format adds a little bit of late drama with momentum swings, the sponsor stuff was subtle with no masses of branding plastered all around the arena and it was just all around a well-polished affair. That was always likely to be the case with high-profile backers and plenty cash on offer to get things sorted. But the fact the players looked invested on court, engaged on the bench and backstage without things feeling too contrived certainly made Laver Cup feel like it wasn't just some novelty event and that bodes well for next year in Chicago.

If you look at it long term then I think it's just too soon to tell. The dust needs to settle first and then see if people are still talking about it in 6 months and how well the next two or three play out. Based on year one, then you have to say the odds are in it's favour to be a regular fixture. I think the venues, fan friendliness etc. will always take care of themselves due to the folks behind it, the yardstick going forward is always going to be the players that play and the quality of tennis on offer. We might not ever really know how important the Laver Cup can be until Federer and Nadal aren't actually playing in it but if future tournaments keep pace with the first iteration then I think it has a place in the game.

Anyway, what did you guys think of the Laver Cup? Sold on the concept? Or not a fan? If you were at the venue (I know many of you were as I met up with a few people from the blog 😉 ), what did you think? How did it come across on TV for those watching at home? 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. One of the best competitive tennis I have seen in a while. Booking my tickets to the next Laver Cup in Chicago when tickets go on sale. Roger as always kept us on the edge of the seat and screaming at the TV screen with the tension only he can produce. Couldn’t have scripted a better final match. Very glad Roger won all his matches.

    1. Yeah I reckon it will sell out fast. Judging by the press the place gets don’t forget your Glock 19 either 😆 Wonder what the reasoning for the venue was? Bulls and MJ? He’ll be doing a coin toss and some shoes no doubt.

      1. I’m sure Nike has some pull in deciding this venue with MJ and RF and most of the LC participants being sponsored by them. It will be interesting to see who gets picked for the team Europe when Djoker, Murray and Stan are back next year. I like this format and it is very good to see the top players from different countries rooting for each other like in a Davis Cup. Though picking who to support is going to be decided by which team your favorite player plays for. I am from India and lives in US, but was rooting for Europe since Roger plays for that team. When he retires, I guess I will have to root for whomever my favorite at that point plays for. There will never be another Roger, but I guess there will be somebody like there always is. It was Borg, Sampras and Roger thus for since I started watching tennis. Hope there is another star coming up soon.

  2. I didn’t get to watch all the matchs, I’ve watched only Federer/Kirgios match which was definitely not an exhibition. I like the idea but i find the scoring system not fair.
    And I have to mention that seeing Fedal on the same side of the net was something special ?

    1. I’m not sure how you can do the scoring system really as there’s not that many matches / points on offer if only 1 point per win. Golf lot more players and nuances. So I think it kinda works to make all three days relevant…

      Fedal was the pièce de résistance for the fans 🙂 I enjoyed it. I’ve never been a Nadal fan for his tennis but in a Team Event I think he’s quality. Some crazy mannerisms as well.

      1. I agree that 1 pt per match would be too simple but this system can permit to a team to win without winning most matches it wouldn’t prove who’s best. I agree also about Nadal I’m not a big fan but his reactions were funny, he wanted to win badly . I like also the chemistry between him and Federer

      2. @Anna “I agree that 1 pt per match would be too simple but this system can permit to a team to win without winning most matches it wouldn’t prove who’s best.”

        That’s essentially the unique tennis scoring system. You can also easily lose a match winning more points than the opponent. Tennis is all about winning the big points which increases drama. Some points in a match are simply much more important.

        So I think it’s fine that a team can also win only if they score on the big points. You gotta bring your best when it matters the most.

      3. Yeah good point Dani, the scoring does kinda compliment the tennis scoring system as a whole so I like it.

        Like you say, imagine Sunday being a complete dead rubber. Would not be good.

  3. I was wondering where you went over the weekend. So happy that you enjoyed 3 days of good tennis. Its a refreshing format and trying to do something different with competitive rather than exho type event. Both teams seems very vested into each match, players shouting Cmons!!! I managed to catch all the matches, thoroughly enjoyed all of them especially Roger’s and doubles. Hope this will become an annual fixture since its better than regular exho. Overall atmosphere are entertaining especially Team World’s celebration and #FedalUnited. Not often you see Rafa and Roger rooting for each other and the epic hugging at the end of Roger last match. This is not something you get to see again.

    1. Thanks. Yeah I didn’t mention I was going really. Was almost not going to do a post but was reminded that I’ve done one for most of the other tournaments I’ve been to so thought I better 😉

      Fedal doubles was fun, they were pretty good too!

    1. Not bad. I was hoping to bump into you and PRF in Prague but not back from honeymoon?

      You’ll be pleased to know I did meet up with a few people who comment on the blog though 😉

  4. I saw the Fedal doubles and the Roger vs Kyrgios matches, both on TV. I think it was great fun an unbelievable experience. Tennis is an individual sport and organizing it in teams adds a tint of sportsmanship different from what generates the Davis Cup. It is more about Tennis, its players and their sportsmanship. All for it. A great success for Roger. The champagne celebration speaks for itself!! I’ve never seen him so happy!

  5. So happy for you Jonathan, that you were able to be in Prague for the Laver Cup! I am tempted to fly from Bali to Chicago next September! Yikes…
    I was surprised that my local cable tv (Fox Sports) carried it, but so glad as I was able to watch Federer’s matches. The Kyrgios match was on about 1 am so I was up until almost 4 am as I had to watch the final again right after, I was so hyped up!
    This weekend event seems more interesting than Davis Cup as you have top stars as well as up and comers and so many more matches on each day. As it worked out perfectly to have Roger save the Cup for Europe it was very special! The anxiety level and eventual joy was almost like that for a Masters Tournament. Also, many people online are comparing it with Davis Cup but I think Laver Cup has more universal appeal. Personally I don’t root for Davis Cup teams based on any country loyalty or fandom but rather for the individual players..maybe that’s not so great, but that’s sport, right? (as an American)

    1. Thanks 🙂 I’m prob looking through rose tinted glasses but would rather watch Laver Cup than Davis Cup. But then again never been to a DC rubber although did try the year the Swiss won.

      Sounds good. I’m quite surprised they picked Chicago as the venue, wonder why it got the nod?

      1. NY is home of USO obviously, MSGardens an exho associated venue and Boston has DC connections might have even started there.
        Michael Jordan staged big events in Chicago guess they can put on a high calibre event and Nike is used to the place and other sponsors like JP Morgan must relate to it’s being a financial hub.

      2. Also, Chicago does not have a tennis tournament. That was part of the thinking in choosing Prague.
        You were so lucky to see it in person. The atmosphere must have been incredible.

        My sports channel did not decide to carry it until the last minute and I was beyond upset thinking I could only see it on an “unofficial” stream. Watched the entire tourney and enjoyed every minute. The matches were so close, so entertaining. Can’t wait until next year.

      3. Yeah nothing on the ATP calendar there which is a shame, Prague has a WTA event and a couple of Challengers though so not totally tennis free.

        The atmosphere was great, it was a very polished event.

  6. It was great fun. I won’t lie, I enjoyed it a lot more than the majors starting from RG and certainly more than the average ATP event. It seemed to be a welcome change from the grind of the tour for the players as well. Most seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

    Very refreshing and I think players need such fun events as well to keep their enthusiasm for the game and not just go through the motions on the tour. That’s why I wasn’t opposed to Roger playing it at all, despite many voicing doubts because no points were at stake. Mental vigour is just as important as physical durability at this point of his career.

    For the youngsters it was a unique opportunity to mingle with the greats of the games and escape the loneliness of being a tennis pro.

    I love the scoring system and I do think it’s fair. Every team has the same opportunity to grab the big points, but the weighing of the points builds drama and ensures that competition will still be alive on sunday. No dead rubbers there. Only because of the scoring system (and Isner upsetting Nadal) the competition could become so fierce, if all matches were counted the same, it would have been over before the Fedal Doubles appearance. Imagine the boredom.

  7. Thankfully it was shown live in the Philippines. Jealous of you Jonathan coz you got to see most of it live. Massive fan of Roger as well and I always look forward to your posts after his games. This post was quite good except the days of results were not separated.

    Gorgeous court design overall and beautiful charcoal surface. Every color pops, including the tennis ball.

    Didn’t expect Roger will play and stayed up until 230am here to watch. Nadal losing was really unexpected. Roger saved the day and Rafa cheering on ?

  8. I was planning on watching Fedal doubles only but ended up watching almost all the matches on the tele. It was weird and amusing to see them play doubles. The Kyrgios Fed match was bloody good. This specific tournament seemed like a huge success but i agree with you only time will tell if anyone cares when Federer Nadal are not on the list. Will Djokovic get an invitation next year?

      1. They are so bitter about Laver Cup they will drop him if he does the event lol! They are right into the scripted debate and it’s an exho definitely for Nolefam!

        Roger being an organiser putting in 18 hour days and playing tough against NK particularly and having Rafa jump on him not great for his back & end of the year fitness, but it was a super exciting tournament and al these extras with Rafa were memorable or is that gif or meme orable. Loved seeing JMac and Borg too and of course Rod Laver. For a man who had a serious stroke at 60 and now nearly 80 he is amazing!

    1. As I pointed out in reply to your email, I dunno which is more grammatically correct. Probably “wins” as Laver Cup is singular but I’m not sure if it makes a lot of difference. Until you mentioned it I never even thought about it. Maybe a resident wordsmith can help.

      1. My guess is that it would be a “Win for Team Europe.” But Team Europe Wins the Laver Cup.” The reasons /rules of language and slight difference in grammar is beyond me however.

  9. I thought the Laver Cup was fantastic tennis. All players were playing to win. It all looked pretty stylish and classy. Only thing I can say about it was all these men lying on the floor, maybe it’s an age thing but it looked a bit over the top. I read that Nick K says that when he kneeled at the start of his match with Fed it wasn’t about the ‘kneeling’ in American sports at the moment, I must confess I never thought about that I was so bad I thought he was having a dig at Roger at the AO! But why can’t he just play tennis he could be great NK I mean as we know Roger already great I was so pleased for him he’s a class act x

    1. Yeah it was well executed in terms of branding / marketing / decor. Not in your face stuff like you get with some US based events. So all quite subtle I thought with a select few main sponsors and then some local business ones.

      I dunno if it was on TV adverts, but sick to death of Rod Laver saying “I always play with my heart & soul (or cock & balls as I altered it to mid-tournament to make it bearable) that’s why I won 2 Calendar Slams” on every changeover. They should have had some more interview snippets or something to mix it up.

      Didn’t see the kneeling, just heard about it after. Dunno the reason, maybe being a clown but he played some decent tennis throughout so will judge him more on that.

  10. “In terms of the live stuff, arriving at the o2 on Friday I wasn’t really sure what to expect. ” –> Is the arena called “o2” in Prague too? I thought o2 is in London? No? Just confused..

    I watched Nick match in TV full whereas others caught up in highlights….Really both seems into the match and surprised to see Nick’s reaction after dumping into net on final point…..Definitely liked more than what I expected…Cheers…

    Chicago option is really tempting if I manage to keep Job for another year here….just 4hrs drive from where I am…

    1. Yeah same name as the London one. Both sponsored / stylised by O2. It’s actually newer than the O2 in London and overall I would say it’s a better venue.

      Certainly in a better location, as it’s closer to the centre, no issue getting back into Prague for food between sessions if you don’t fancy eating reconstituted chicken nuggets at the venue. So closer, no terror attacks, no moped gangs carrying out acid attacks. Prague should host the WTF, then I’d consider going again.

  11. Loved it
    Loved hearing the coaching convos
    Loved Fedal!

    Gotta imagine that the team vibe was way more fun and emotionally gratifying for players than anything on the tour.
    Pretty cool and appropriate that Fed was able to close the winning Match.

    He looks clearly not to be in the form he was at the beginning of the year – the only negative comment I’d have.

    1. Jmac saying “time to put this son of a bitch to bed” 😆

      Yea Fed is not moving that well I don’t think as he’s looking late on the ball but played better than US Open.

  12. This cup was waaaaay more entertaining than the ridiculous exhibition matches where the players wear microphones telling stupid jokes and playing weird shots as basketball globetrotters wannabes or circus clowns.
    This format brought up two of the best aspects of sport in general and tennis in particular:
    In all the matches I saw the contenders were playing serious business on the court; fairplay and team spirit were really there, even for teams that existed only for a few days, and the right amount of fun mixed in too, not too much, not too little.
    The fact that the coaches are *the* two big rivals from my childhood memories only helps. Needless to say, those are the two who made me want to gather all cents I could until I got my first real racquet (a 350 g aluminium beast that I used to blast balls against my neighbour’s garage door).
    A lot of things came together perfectly this weekend.

  13. I think it was GREAT, all of it! And the dimension of the young ones mingling with the top veterans – getting advice and learning – and having the experience of being a team, yelling in support to players normally rivals – and the FUN of it, everybody to be happy about everybody’s extraordinary contribution in all the matches. To do your very best, even more than that, and great communication with the other unique talents, and getting to like each other, sharing great enthusiastic’s – this is a unique gift to tennis sports, as I see it
    Thanks for the photos, Jon, could not have chosen better myself – I’ll never forget Rafa’s emotional cheering and jumping up to embracing Roger as a to kid’s father in pure joy of the Roger’s/”Europe’s” final win (I’ve almost come to like Rafa!)

    1. “to be happy about everybody’s extraordinary contribution in all the matches”

      Say that to Berdych with a straight face please 😆

      Just trolling, I actually don’t mind Berdych these days. He seems bit of an outsider on tour, comes across quite serious / cold but probably not what he is like at all. But looked a bit awkward in the celebrations.

      1. Ah yes, the loser. Actually I didn’t watch his matches. But weren’t nearly all stats very tight? And he was kind of polite host – for instance came lightening fast back with a a pair of scissors on Rafa’s asking?

      2. Berdy actually has a good sense of humour. I discovered that when some of his tweets were highlighted – they were very funny. He seems to be one older player whose career is going down, however. Which is a shame, for whatever reason he was a very good, but never great player.

      3. Yeah his matches were close, just a few important points. 10 point tie break always a lottery.

        I think we are clutching at straws though if getting scissors from the locker room is a badge of honour!

      1. I think many of us RF fans did so. But a small part of me’ll remember it, and may stay with this nice warm view, I think.

  14. Great post, Jonathan. Imagine being there! I wonder how you compare the TV match to the ones you saw in Real Life? I used to go to Wimbledon for the complete fortnight, when that was cheap and possible, and I came to the conclusion that I preferred watching on TV.
    I’ll repeat what I said on your earlier post.
    Best tennis tournament ever (watched on TV). Great audience, team spirit, desire to win, atmosphere, everything. I liked the new rules too, made the matches less of a marathon timewise. Each match was a needle match, played with maximum effort, and at the last match it was like they were fighting for the Universe Cup. Cheerleading by each team was fun too, although Team World had more youthful and imaginative participation, except at the end. I feel as if I’ve been watching for days rather than only three days. I’ve definitely got withdrawal symptoms.
    It was good to see Federer giggling. He takes his matches so very seriously these days. Did you see the recent exhibition match with Andy Murray? He looked ten years younger and played freely and happily. I agree he wasn’t playing his best with very few “special” shots but it looked to be a vast improvement on the awful US Open.

    1. Thanks. Yes, it was a fun weekend! Good city, weather was good and venue is great. I watched Ice Hockey there before so I knew it would work well for tennis.

      Hard to compare TV and Live like for like. But I liked the coverage – court looked good on TV. Some new cameras in play. Commentary didn’t sound OTT like the IPTL when Koenig was being overdramatic. So yeah was good to watch I thought.

  15. I watched most matches on youtube where they where posted live, that was nice because in the Netherlands they only broadcasted the occasional match. I loved the atmosphere and I especially loved the way Nadal was looking so happy playing with Roger, even when things went wrong they could laugh it off, and still be very serious about playing their best. Normally Nadal is so stern and angry and never smiles during a match at all. Roger’s giggling is a bit too much sometimes, but you could see he so enjoyed the whole three days, and that he was able to win the Kyrgios match was almost unexpected, seeing Kyrgios playing so well. But in the end Roger prevailed, as he should forever and ever.

  16. not sure why there is any doubt that it wasn’t an exo. these guys wanted to win. the game faces and the energy put into the matches were obvious that they meant business. there seemed to be no show of being afraid of injury or anything. even sascha fell down and was bleeding but it wasn’t like “oh no i won’t be able to compete in my other tournaments”. i didn’t see any difference than davis cup and no one talks about that being an exo. yes the doubles were fun, but doubles are usually that way. funny things happen in grand slam doubles that often make for giggling. but when points needed to be won, the doubles players, including rafa and roger, were dead serious. the emotion at the end when roger won or when isner beat nadal was genuine. it couldn’t have been manufactured. rafa wanted to win and well, roger was joyous. why can’t people take it seriously? as far as the antics of team world, isner and querrey brought a sense of usa college team behavior to the team world. it may have seemed over the top but since i am from the us, this is not unusual.

    1. I think the general consensus amongst fans/press is that it definitely wasn’t an Exho. Only Djoker fans seem to be slating it left right and centre. If he plays it next year then surely they have to stop supporting him??

      Denis, Tiafoe, Sock and Kyrgios seemed to be more of the instigators of the bench antics.

  17. It’s a thumbs up Jonathan.
    Just when I thought I couldn’t admire Roger any more he (and his Team8) come up with the Laver Cup! The whole thing was so classy and professionally done. I can’t imagine the time, effort, thought, people and expense that went into putting it all together. It was the most enjoyable 3 days of tennis I’ve watched in a long time. Such a great combination of nail-biters and laughs. The intensity of the players on court proved this was no exhibition and the support and camaraderie showed the emotion and fun they were all having as well. The Roger/Rafa doubles was a “hoot” to watch and deserved all the hype. I have never been a big Rafa fan but I must say I warmed to him after watching how sincere and animated he was in his cheering for the team members and especially Roger. That celebratory “jump” on Roger at the end I’m sure will be in the highlights reel forever. How fitting that it should be Roger’s match that won the trophy! PeRFect! One thing that stood out for me was the balance Roger maintained as just “one of the guys” but also as “leader of the pack”, not an easy thing to do. Thank you Jonathan for the great post. I am so envious of you being there but I for sure will be looking for tickets for Chicago. Kudos to all

    1. Agree, it was very well put together.

      I think Fed did his best to keep out the limelight, he wasn’t front and centre on all the promotional stuff. Gotta do really as risks it being an event more about him than the concept of honouring the past greats etc.

  18. Hello all… What a great week end in the Czech Republic !

    L…ava river of red champs admired at night
    A…nd their blue counterparts ready for the fight
    V…ictorious on Sunday : that’s they all wished to be !
    E…ither you encouraged one or the other team
    R…afa, Roger, Denis, John  or Dominic Thiem
    C…ool fans around an arena dark as  ageless  lava
    U…all cheered on  cobalt and ruby gems
    P…artners for once on a joyful autumn week-end.

    I managed to watch the matches on Be In Sports (France). One of the commentators is a huge Fed admirer, so it was nice :-).
    I enjoyed the black court, the camera views hidden in the net and above the court (the speed of the ball looks terrific that way !).
    The funny encouragements coming from the blue and red boxes were accurately shown and Borg’s placid face contrasted with Mc Enroe’s constant chat. As of day 2, a mike hidden  in the   bench allowed us to hear some interesting conversations. Captains and players seemed to have great pleasure being together and competing.

    As the French commentator said when Fed surged from his seat to advise D. Thiem on top of B. Borg : “what a privilege it must be for a young player like Thiem to get some strategy tips from two stars together while playing !”

    All that made us appreciate  tennis as a team sport instead of an individual one and I guess young players had some time to get some good advice for their career from the older ones.
    The Fed-Nadal patrnership was a delight, the two of them looking like twins hatching a plot in their turquoise shirts and white headbands.  

    P.. opular and punchy
    R…are Roger and Rafa
    A…ggressive and alive
    G…OATS in all their greatness
    U…nrivalled and united
    E…lated and eternal…

    The Fed-Kyrgios match was the cherry on the cake (reminding  of their 2017 Miami tough battle).
    The joy on Fed’s face at the end of the last match looked as if he had won a Grand Slam…  It is so nice to see he is happy as a junior at 36 … and he won all of his matches.

    The first Laver Cup was very fun to watch and … the back of our hero seems to be ok… Shanghai is coming soon… Yees !

    1. Cool that it was broadcast in France, looks like it was available in quite a few places around the world.

      You could watch on the Laver Cup website if you were in the Czech Republic which was cool.

  19. Loved the inaugural Laver Cup, enjoyed it immensely. But the draw is really Roger Rafa at the back of the fantastic comeback year they have pulled.

    The next one will lose the novelty, but let’s hope exciting matchups among the next-genners will develop in the leadup to it.

    However, I think the event should held be every two years, instead of yearly.
    So skip to 2019 in Chicago, then 2021 next.
    That way, free up Olympics years as intended.

  20. I really enjoyed the weekend. Screaming at the tv like it was the AO final. Seems it was televised to a lot of countries. I was surprised it was here, tbh. I don’t think you could have written a better script if you tried. Everything about it fell into place like it was pre-planned.
    Love the “net-cam”. Great angle to see the foot work and rushing the net. The format was well thought out. I heard Toni Godsick say three cities were vying for the next one in 2018. Assuming all US cities. They chose Chicago because it has no tennis tournaments, great sporting city and a good sized venue. Just don’t wander to the other side of the tracks. Wondering if all “world” events will be in the US.
    To all the blog participants who went to the event, I’m green with envy.
    Jonathan, sorry you missed the wedding.

    1. Yeah it was a fun weekend. I’m sure Wanda will comment soon to give you more details 🙂

      Wonder who will sponsor the Chicago tournament – Smith and Wesson, Ruger, Colt? :S

  21. Team World blew their only chance to win the Laver Cup in recent years to come. Next year with all the players being healthy, how will they defeat the Team Europe of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka + Zverev/Cilic/Thiem? Even with Nishikori & Raonic they won’t stand a chance. Poor McEnroe!

    1. Post Brexit I’m not sure Murray can play for Europe.

      If he wants to play for World we will need to negotiate some Free Tennis Agreements, and without the European Union that will be impossible. So sad what has happened, people did not know about the Laver Cup when they were voting to leave 🙁 we need a second referendum and it to be made clear to the British people!

      1. The UK voted to leave the EU, I don’t see how they can leave Europe… The big 4 will play for Team Europe although I agree with Wilander there is no big 4 but a big 3.

    2. We can’t be sure all those European players will actually play. Some won’t be at the top of the rankings, some may decide not to participate, and others may be injured. I rooted for Team Europe this year because I wanted Roger to win the inaugural Laver Cup. But next year I will be solidly behind Team World!

  22. Hi Jonathan, nice post and couldn’t agree with you more.
    To be honest, I wasn’t planning to watch the event, may couple of matches here and there where Nadal is involved, and I am happy I changed my mind 🙂
    I was impressed by the amount of emotions and competitiveness invested by most of the players, if not all. Simply, they were caring and that’s what made this event a success story.
    What has impressed me the most is WorldTeam actually. Each one of them was playing for the team, the team spirit was there in all moments. Yes Europe team has it, but not like the way I felt it, IMO.
    Will it succeed in future? Time will tell as Roger said.
    At the end, it was one of those fairytale and the Fedal Saga was the best out of it. I have enjoyed it a lot. Ah, Just forget to mention, the TV coverage was awesome, one of the best if not the best coverage I have ever seen in tennis history.

    p.s. some said that some of those matches were rigged and scripted and those emotions are faked. I didn’t buy it but even if that is true, which I doubt, I don’t care because simply I got entertained, and some of those reactions and sentiments couldn’t be faked, really!

      1. Yeah, I thought so 🙂 “why should I embarrass myself in front of my people”, unless they paid him a lot he couldn’t resist though 😉 which I doubt. But to be honest, I felt for him really!

      2. I’m sure all that emotion was real, and couldn’t be so if anything was fixed. That it went the most popular way most times, is just the roses on the cake!
        I like it was that close, I like the real excitement, I think nobody really lost, just that Europe was lucky to win, and this I like too!

    1. One more thing I would love to add. IMO, I think John Sock was the star (MVP kind of status) of the entire tournament. The efforts, determinations, dedications, competiveness, quality, spirit, etc. A full package; however, Fedal took the spotlights

    2. He was the star of the tournament but you can’t remember his name 😉

      Sock was good, he played well in singles and doubles. Just a bit too wild and a very sketchy second serve.

      1. Yea I liked him too, well all the players!!! So different all, but all very very good and excited and enthusiastic and supportive! WONDERFUL!

    3. And if anything was faked those guys should be movie stars and not tennis players. No way they are such good actors. 🙂

      1. Thanks Wanda, yeah I was in hibernation mode 😉
        And I have to say, I have never cheered for Roger in my entire life! After the doubles and last single matches, I want him to get to no. 22 or more 😉 he is the goat, no doubt 🙂

  23. Hi all, I only managed to catch the fed-kyrgios match. Any comments on Federer’s performance? I thought he played pretty poorly. While Kyrgios made some highlight-reel shots, he was up and down. Federer seemed to be struggling, especially on his forehand. Made bad errors at crucial points too, like the shanked forehand on a break point near the net.

    1. Agree, Fed didn’t play his best. I was surprised he won actually. Nadal said he needed to be more aggressive with his fh. Pretty tame shots really. But as they say, a win is a win!
      And I thought Rafa was going to injury Roger’s back whilst jumping up. Hidden motive, lol.

  24. Great post, Jonathan and great to meet up with you in Prague watching it live.

    I too caught most of Feds match live on TV at the airport so got flavour of live and TV coverage. It was great, from start to finish! Best tennis trip I hv done for a long time!
    I agree with most of comments here and J’s post but wanted to add a couple of things.
    Tony Godsick is right when he says tennis needs to be shaken up a little, brought up to date. The Tour has become pretty repetitive, and the dithering over the DC provided a great oppprtunity to jump in and create something these guys need a break from the solo grind and this was perfect, competitive team tennis with an instant winner after a weekend.
    The venue was well chosen. The Czechs know and love their tennis and keeping the prices reasonable meant there were a huge % of locals who wld not necessarily hv the opportunity of seeing great ATP tennis.
    The ticket sales, although hard work back in March, were cleverly designed to ensure a full house every session as you cld only buy a 5 session ticket to start with. Brilliant scheme! It also meant you saw many of the same fans around you at each session which was fun ( Jonathan, I still owe you a beer)!

    The opportunity for lesser known and younger players to get their names out there was tremendous ( Rog gets that very well indeed). Sock def left with many more supporters than when he arrived and it was a superb oppprtunity fir Tiafoe and Denis.
    I felt for Tomas but his city really delivered.
    Nick again showed his brilliance and really Shld hv beaten Rog who was running on empty. My journalist friend told me he was the first to arrive and the last to leave every day. Hard worker!

    The Coverage on the website was brilliant because you heard the exchanges at changeover, which we obviously missed watching live.

    It is a good sized arena and was refreshingly free from too many adverts, celebrities ( except for the coin toss groupies ?)!
    Yes, they didn’t start on time and the endless showing of Rod Lavers slams wore thin after a while but that’s no different from the WTFs. And I agree with Jonathan, that needs moving too.
    Scoring meant no dead rubbers which is one of biggest DC issues.
    Having a good doubles player on yr team proved crucial ( Europe suffered here)
    I wld hv liked to hv seen more of Thiem and Denis but hey, it was the Fedal show altho Isner played great( Querrey meanwhile looked miserable)

    I hope Chicago continues to focus on the tennis. That is what Prague did well. I do not want more ads, endless celebs. I quite liked the giving away of Feds racquets to local kids in the crowd during the breaks.
    I also worry that Chicago stadium is very big! Same as USO? And the whole MJ thing but let’s see. They know exactly what works and what they can clean up on. ( geoblocking for one)
    In conclusion, a great start. As Andre Gomez posted on Twitter, all competitions start out as just an event. Yes, I get the importance of Fedal but the cleverness of the competition meant I was rooting for people I never usually root for…..(the benches were ingenious for promoting that)
    I am interested in how they will select next yr, not convinced Muzz or Novak will play( isn’t there some ATP team tennis discussion also going on with them) . We shall see.
    Good show, ??? all round
    Sorry for long post

    1. Thanks for the recap and thoughts. Agree with all you said and ye great to meet with you and otheres at the venue 🙂

      Agree about Querrey too – I just watched some highlights and he’s the only one who looked like he’d rather be somewhere else!

      Hopefully, it doesn’t get all Americanised when it moves to Chicago and full of gimmicky stuff. Fed is an understated guy so I guess if he has a strong say it will keep the focus on tennis and legends.

      1. I guess it’s just the World vs Europe thingy. Would just prefer to have a competition with the best players and rising stars. Just my opinion.

  25. A fantastic post, Jonathan.

    Not much to add here but hey I had a dream weekend in Prague!
    Who could not enjoy the event? You can tell how much meant to Fed when you saw his face at the moment he won the last point. The Laver Cup was his project after all. Great that I was there seeing it all and to be a part of it!

    Two singles and the first ever Fedal – and he won them all. What more could I ask for a weekend?
    Cool venue with stylish black theme. Loved the black (though more of a grey) court, the player’s red and blue outfits were vivid on it. Atmosphere was awesome, too. I’d never been so tense and animated in public at every single points during the last match. What a joy in the end! Must admit I temporary became Rafa fan for his crazy support for Roger 😆 Though his game?…still puke!

    Overall it was sophisticated and well managed event I thought. Enjoyed every second of it and was worth a penny. Since I couldn’t witness any of his 19 grand slams live, the last weekend was definitely the best thing I had in my life as a Fed fan.

    And the top of the fête was – of course meeting up with the peRFect blogger in person.
    Wow, how charming he was, I can tell you guys! …those cute cheeky eyes 🙂

    1. Thanks Wanda. Was great to finally meet a long time commenter, easy to recognise in lavender 🙂

      I agree, even I wanted Nadal to do well for a change. So kinda proves the team format does work bringing players and their fan groups together.

      1. “And the top of the fête was – of course meeting up with the peRFect blogger in person.
        Wow, how charming he was, I can tell you guys! …those cute cheeky eyes” Ah ooh, Wanda… you know how to get us really envious! 😀

      2. @Wanda you also asked me in Prague who else I’ve met from the blog. Was struggling to remember at the time and thought I had just about named everyone I’d met live at tournaments, but how could I forget I also met Quizmaster Murli this year in the UK.

  26. Wanda, sounds like you have a crush not only on Roger! Great you and Susie got to the event and had such a great time. I was hoping for more of a post ie nice places to see, hotels, photos etc. Many people feel Prague is one of the best cities in Europe.
    Chicago will be a different kettle of fish. Fat men tearing off Fed t-shirts….
    Oh, what were the ticket prices like?

    1. Yeah thought about a fan story…but I haven’t even unpacked after coming back from a year and a half abroad!

      As for the tickets. Difficult and expensive even on the pre-sale back in February. Queuing for hours on the site, clicking everywhere, almost gave up. But just one click finally worked and ended up paying for a seat for all 3 days 18000 CZK (the top tier after hospitality). Though was a pretty good seat, a few row behind Rod Laver and his wife sat. I could hear Roger asking the ball between the points.
      My friend bought the tickets for individual session about 1500 CZK each but for a seat near the ceiling!

      Yes, Prague is pretty. Atmospheric. One of few cities the weather doesn’t matter so much for its beauty. I didn’t do much sightseeing this time as I was there for writing years ago. The weekend was for Fed and celebrating my friend’s birthday, too. Meeting up Jonathan was the cherry on the cake 😀

    2. Yeah there is no pressure for a fan story. Alysha is still writing one from the Aus Open in 2014 😆

      Good point about the weather not affecting how Prague looks. I’ve seen it across seasons and it looks great in them all. Rains a bit but clears quite quickly.

      @Sue Prague is definitely one of the best cities in Europe in terms of pricing / what’s on offer. The only negative for me is that there’s quite a bit of dog shit on the streets. Dog ownership high and lazy owners not picking it up ffs. Other than that it’s one of my fave places.

      In terms of what to see – then you can’t go far wrong by sticking to all the main attractions – Charles Bridge, Castle, Vysehrad Fort, Petrin Hill. Wenceslas Square. They’re all worth seeing. Some nice parks too in Letna and dotted around the city. Walk on the river. Lot of tourists naturally but if you can go early or late to these places you can cut them out.

      Then once you have seen the attractions it’s more about enjoying the beers and food on offer. Lots of great food places that cover all cuisines and budgets. Can dine like a local or get decent Thai, Asian, Lebanese food etc. very easily. And even the slightly higher priced places are still cheap, we went to Eska one night – not sure what I’d describe it as somewhere between mid-range and fine dining. The presentation is fine dining style on the plate but the atmosphere much more chilled, laid back as it’s in a warehouse. A 5 course tasting menu cost £22. You could pair it with wine for double. So you can’t really beat it, you’d get a crap burger and a beer for the same price in London.

      1. Yeah I did, it’s my favourite one actually. Prefer it over Pilsner Urquell. Didn’t have it from the tap this time though.

        Had no idea it meant Goat, although should have guessed considering there’s one right there on the label!

        Pivovarsky Klub is my fave place for beers. A ton of choice and not a pretentious hipster craft beer place.

      2. Thanks so much. Another thing….did Roger look like he was hindered in his movement at all? To me he looked better than USO but not the same as earlier in the year.

        Thinking of a trip to the USO in 2018. Short term rentals are now illegal in NYC and hotel prices are insane. Was planning on a trip there later in Sept but thought a day or two at USO would be fun.
        Any ideas people?

      3. Not hindered but not as quick for me. Looking just a step slower, late on the ball. But looked a bit better than USO.

        Can’t you just use Airbnb in New York?

      4. He looks obviously different to me than early in the season.

        He has looked progressively weaker to me tournament by tournament. It’s almost a linear slow downward slope form AO Berdych and Indian Wells perfection to now.

        I wonder if there is a TUE involved in that? (Nothing illegal about that of course).

      5. My Goodness Alb. Sowing fake suspicious speculations? Well my speculation is, that the whole responsibility of the great Laver Cup might have an impact. And/or his old illness/back issue sent a regard.

      6. Airbnb, vrbo, etc is illegal in NYC now. Big fines for the hosts just advertising a place. So, a little nervous about booking. And apparently the building strata can give you the boot. Anyone know if it’s all talk and business as usual? A host can rent a room in a flat but not the whole flat. My track record for airbnb isn’t the best.
        Love this city, amazing energy.

      7. Probably more likely what you say.

        But I would never felt him for a TUE. I’m sure many players use them and its fair. I have zero problem with that if it was true.

        It just seems like he’s had so much rest and yet he’s hurt again after being so unreal at the start of the year.

      8. @Sue – I just looked it up. The only thing that’s illegal is properties that fall under multiple dwelling laws. So apartments in massive blocks etc. You can still offer out a house or entire place if it’s located in row houses that have fewer than three apartments in the section. Or you can still hire out a room which is part of a larger apartment.

        I’m on airbnb now, plenty to choose from that are within the rules. Don’t think I’d really think twice about doing an ‘illegal’ one either but would probably only book it closer to the time.

      9. Hey Jonathan, Would you send me links to what you found via email. Are these in Manhattan? Prefer own space, really.

  27. Yeah, agree with you there. Go early or late to main tourist spots as gets too busy during the day. A lot of selfie sticks to avoid! We spent a lot of time in the parks, really nice, with great city views.

  28. Cool write up, Jon!

    I didn’t my see as much as I’d like due to exam commitments but what I did see was very promising indeed. The tournament was well executed as you say, very minimalist in showing off that it was technically exhibition, and that’s always a good thing. The key was always going to be whether the players took it seriously, but invitation based on world ranking I think makes it a competitive tournament to get into and so also a tournament you as a player would want to take seriously.

    Scoring system seems contrived, but you’d be seeing dead rubbers all over the place if some weighting towards Day 3 didn’t exist. Team environments really allow certain players to thrive, and I think it’s a shame the Davis Cup really only ever gets treated as a joke but even if it didn’t I think it still wouldn’t be anywhere near last weekend simply because there’s more quality in Europe vs world than France vs Belgium. It was good to see players like Sock and Kyrgios perform so well, because you always get the sense a lot of the americans feed off the team ethic better than most.

  29. Great write-up Jonathan. I would have been great fun watching it live. Team action at its best

    Wanda, I don’t rhyme without rhyme or reason. Fed is of course the reason… Here goes for you…

    Said Federer to the great Rod Laver
    Sir, I need from you a great favour
    Tennis now needs a real life-saver
    A tournament with a different flavour

    A tournament which will be a team-game
    And for this I need to use your good name
    For what you’ve seen till now will seem tame
    Believe me Sir tennis will never be the same

    And the rest is history….

    1. Thanks Murli. Missed your poetry for some time (as I missed Fed’s wonder-performing). The event deserved a song. Thanks, very congenial!

  30. Hey all, everybody over LC yet?? Me… totally not. I am seriously watching Roger’s match against Nick like every day 🙂 Cannot get over the fact that the Goat won. Nick just would not lose, played sooo great, too great actually. Roger not at his best, but I guess still grinding it out against a player (future of tennis) who is 14 !!! years younger. If THIS Roger, meaning tired, not playing at his best, maybe not too good movements, can make someone like Nick really play for it and also win it…. well then the rest of 2017 and 2018 will look pretty good right? 🙂 🙂

    What a great exho and how good was it organised? I know Roger and Tony are behind it, but I do hope they both get pretty good paid for it, because they really did a good job and deserve it too. All the attention they paid on the details… I loved it.

    Already told my boss that next year I am taking a few days off to not miss anything at all. This time I couldn’t see all the matches. Next year I will 🙂

    Also have to say that I was really impressed with JMac. Yep…. I said it. He really is a good coach. He supports them, pushes them, gives them good advice, but also says harsh things to them that they need to hear. Both Jack and Nick started to play wayyy better after his harsh words. And I know that Borg has the two greatest players of all time in his group, but dude…. can you say atleast something?? He looks so uncomfortable. I know they don’t need advice, but atleast say that they are doing great or something 🙂

    Speaking about giving advice….. why are YOU giving Roger advice Rafa?? He beat you 3 times this year 🙂
    And Goat… why are YOU giving Sasha and Dominic advice?? They too beat you 🙂 Funny dudes.
    The dubs against Sock and Querry was very fun. Roger and Rafa won the 1st set, lost the 2nd and in the ST decided to show how it looks when 35 GS come down on you 🙂 I know Jack Sock is a great dubs player… but dude…. exactly how many times did you try to hit both Roger’s and Rafa’s body and face??? Not done dude… seriously…. not done 🙂

    I loved the exho, even if it wasn’t an exho by how they totally went for it. Roger really has great respect for Rod Laver. And how about that…. his vision….. his idea…. and in the end…. it was all on HIM to win it 🙂 Just like a movie 🙂
    My wish is that somewhere in the future some player honours Roger the same way he honoured Rod Laver. Roger deserves it. For what he brings to tennis, how he acts, how he plays and how he made a great event even better.
    Everytime I think I cannot love and respect you more Roger… you do something like this. Go Goat 😉

    1. Oh my God… how can I forget to mention this important thing?? When they say that God has a great and weird sense of humour, they are not wrong. How many of us (Fedfans) rooted for Rafa? I know I did and I really enjoyed him and his bromance with Roger. When Rafa was almost dying all the time watching Roger play, miss breakpoints, shank, etc…. all I could think about was…. yep dude…. welcome to the club… THIS is what it is to be a Roger fan 🙂 Sometimes I thought he would get a heartattack or something…. But I guess his cheering did make a difference.

      During the weekend I really saw another side of Rafa and I liked him a lot. But THAT is where it ends. Weekend is over, liking him is also over. No #Fedal love here 🙂 AT ALL. I have NOT forgotten and WILL NOT forget what he has put Roger and us through… so… we and I are back to disliking him again 🙂 🙂 Go kick his butt Roger 🙂 And if Rafa’s launching at Roger made his back go ouch…. then watch your step Rafa… will hunt you down 🙂

      Ps: To all here who went….. so jealous of you guys….

    2. Someone here told, I don’t get their sense of humor. I don’t get your’s maybe, so let me ask you – are you praying or kidding or what? 😉
      Because of so many smileys (bot not with a wink) I’m assuming at first sight, you are serious.
      Have you really seen that match many times? Me too.
      What do you think about Nick’s MTO? Was it serious? I did not see physios to do anything serious on his knee. Did you? If not, we may think, it was clowning. But why? You ask, how could Roger win this match, while Nick was playing so good and Roger actually not too good.
      My guess is, there was a scenario and maybe Nick still in doubts, what to do. Play his role and lose or make a surprise? Was JMac not a bit worried and has he not reminded Nick, what’s his role and if he need some losing pretext, maybe MTO would help? Well, it helped, but have anybody seen Nick having any problem or moving bad or so? I have not. But after the role was done, Nick was for a while himself again, showing his disappointment. Yes, he should have won the match. And the management of the show were obviously in doubts too – what would make Nick? So during the match Rafa and Sasha were both wearing shirts, a kind of preparing to play deciding doubles – it would be probably once more against SockTheR+RKiller and Isner and if they would suddenly decide to boycott the scenario, this could end with another one lifting the trophy.
      And hey – what do you think about breaking rules of the show (it was still displayed on RLC webssite (rather webshit at this moment), that pairings would come at 10.00 CET. Then it was told, Borg have given his card (with selected players and sequence) Saturday evening, so JMac could freely select his fighters and tell them, what are their roles before Sunday starts. Some could have understood this like “hey, we are going to win for sure, so here’s the handicap, you are allowed to win 2 matches, but no more”.
      Last but not least – 3 young and excellent players had only 1 chance to play – Thiem in team Europe and Tiafoe+Shapovalov in team World. Why? Too young? Too impredictable? (Could forget roles and win just when they were set to lose.) All they set to play on the first day, when every win was worth 1 point. Not a big risk of destroying the scenarion event if all 1-da-matches would not go according to scenario. But what a risk to let them play for 2 or 3 points? Only Sasha was allowed to play more. Maybe better disciplined?
      Now I hope you all get my sense of humor 😉

    3. Haha Katyani, what do they put in the water over in Holland 😆

      I thought Borg looked ice cool not uncomfortable! JMac was rocking back and forth like he needed his next hit!

      And it wasn’t an Exho 🙂

  31. I wasn’t there but on tv both coaches looked pretty tame to me. JMac was hunched over like an old man on a park bench in Central Park. Both didn’t talk to the players much giving encouragement or advise.
    Lots of things in Holland for Katyani to get into but I’m sure she wouldn’t.

  32. Well, I finally managed to catch up with the Fed/Kyrgios match. I thought they might have been available for viewing on the LC website, but no – fortunately a few people had managed to post it on The Usual Place. A really entertaining and hard-fought game – NOBODY could say it was just an exho! – and as Jonathan says the teamates looked really invested in it all, especially Nadal! Everyone I’ve been in contact with seems to have been really enthusiastic about it – and it certainly looks a more interesting format than the WTF. I’m not absolutely convinced about the court colour, although with it and the ballkids’ outfits (and I think the line judges’ too?) it gave a bit of an impression of a “sepia” film in which the main characters’ outfits had been colourised to make them stand out while everything else receded into the background. A rather effective way of getting you to concentrate on the business in hand, though, I thought.

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