Write an Article

Borg, McEnroe renew rivalry as Laver Cup captains

f

Bjorn Borg (L) of Sweden and John McEnroe of the U.S. speak with participants during a tennis clinic at the National Tennis Development Center in Bangkok November 22, 2008. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/Files
Bjorn Borg (L) of Sweden and John McEnroe of the U.S. speak with participants during a tennis clinic at the National Tennis Development Center in Bangkok November 22, 2008. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/Files

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, who met 22 times during their celebrated tennis rivalry, will break their 11-11 head-to-head tie when they captain the Europe and World teams in the inaugural Laver Cup next September.

Borg and McEnroe announced on Wednesday that they had committed to lead the teams for the first three years of the new competition, patterned after golf's Ryder Cup, and joined Rod Laver, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal at a news conference.

Federer and Nadal announced they were committing to compete for the European side in next year's event to be staged at the 02 arena in Prague from Sept. 22-24.

"You know to be a captain of maybe the two greatest players in the history of tennis here, I think they know what to do or not to do," Swede Borg said about Federer and Nadal.

"But maybe you come into the match and maybe something is not working (and) I can help."

American McEnroe, who also split his 14 ATP Tour meetings against Borg, said: "I'm proud to be captain and hopefully pull off the big upset over Europe next year."

Four automatic spots on each team will be filled through the leading ATP singles rankings following Wimbledon with the captains adding two other captains' picks after the U.S. Open to round out the six-man teams.

At present, Europeans hold the top five spots in the rankings and 13 of the top 15 places.

"A lot of things can change in a year," added McEnroe, noting the rise of young players coming into their own.

Federer said he believes the Laver Cup will resonate from the start.

"I think it's going to have a big impact right away just because of the magnitude of Rod Laver being involved," said 17-times slam winner Federer, currently sidelined following knee surgery.

"Having the captains John and Bjorn there is going to create so much attention and so much of a different twist being able to rub shoulders with legends."

Four matches will be played each day, three singles and one doubles. Each player will play at least one singles match, and at least four of the six players must play doubles.

Match-ups will be determined prior to each day of play by a blind exchange of line-ups by the captains.

Each match win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday.

The competition, which will be held annually except for during Summer Olympic years, will rotate between major cities in Europe and the rest of the world.

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)


Fetching more content...