Laver Cup – Will Team World Ever Win

AP/Kin Cheung, file

Laver Cup – Will Team World Ever Win

Laver Cup has always been mostly about Roger Federer.

With the announcement of his retirement and the fact that this Laver Cup will be his last competitive tournament, this year’s Laver Cup will again be about Roger but will have the added element of a full-blown, all-out celebration of the man. Given the importance of this latest edition of the Laver Cup, the original big four are all slated to participate. This means Team World will have to contend with Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, and Federer. Along with Tsitsipas, Ruud and Berrettini.

Team World will not count with as much experience and prestige. However, they can count on a few youngsters that can give the mostly veteran Team Europe all they can handle. Fritz, Tiafoe, and Auger-Aliassime are playing some great tennis at the moment and have the ability to grind out some wins, especially in the quick format at play in Laver Cup.

It will be tough for Team World once again though. Let’s remember that Team World has been handily beaten by Team Europe in most of the Laver Cup editions starting in 2017. Is this becoming what nobody wanted it to become? A glorified exhibition where Team Europe is the Globetrotters and Team World is the Washington Generals. As many of you may know, the Washington Generals exist as part of the Harlem Globetrotters’ act, effectively being stooges for the Globetrotters.

I may be exaggerating a little bit. However, I’m not far off. The only difference is that Team World are legitimate top players that want to win. Wanting to win and winning are two different things though, and unfortunately for Team World, they consistently field players outside the top 10 while most of Team World is solidly in the top 10. Will this ever change? It hasn’t in the last 20 years, and there’s no reason to think it will change anytime soon.

For this to become a legitimate tournament, Team World needs to step up in the world of tennis. The only way for this format to survive is to field two competitive teams with legitimate stars on both sides of the net. As we await the 2022 edition, let’s hope it’s not as disappointing as the 2021 edition where Team World was able to capture just one point in the whole tournament.

To be fair, the first three editions of the Laver Cup gave us some pretty competitive matches, and Team World was mostly a contender until the very last match. However, as much as a contender as they may be, one always got the feeling that Roger Federer and company would prevail.

Wouldn’t it be a true passing of the baton if Team World comes out swinging, effectively taking the racket out of Team Europe’s hand? If there are any players that can do this it would be Fritz and Tiafoe. They are Team World’s only hope. Oh, and let’s not forget Jack Sock, who effectively is still probably the world’s best doubles player. We shall see!

All that being said, let’s not forget that this weekend is as much celebrating Roger Federer as it is the Laver Cup. In that spirit, don’t forget to go out and get your Roger Federer branded hat in preparation for the festivities.

Like always, don’t forget to jump on to the TennisPAL app to stay up to date on tennis news, find groups of friends to play with, and get a virtual coach to help with your tennis game.

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