Laver Cup 2019: The intriguing potential match-ups between Team Europe and Team World
The Laver Cup this year could be more entertaining than its previous two editions, considering the number of players who are looking to rediscover their form. The list includes Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem, Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic, etc; except for Rafael Nadal, almost every other player has had disappointments so far in the season.
The desire to bounce back will in all likelihood benefit the tournament.
On that note, let us look at some potential match-ups between Team Europe and Team World this year that could produce high-octane entertainment coupled with phenomenal stroke-play.
1. Nick Kyrgios vs Fabio Fognini
It's very tough not to use the word "controversy" whenever any one of these two players step on a tennis court. But that aside, both Kyrgios and Fognini always make sure that the crowd gets entertained with their game.
Having played against each other only once before - in the second round of the Miami Open last year - this match is sure to make the fans go crazy in the stadium.
2. Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios
These two players have had quite a journey this year, especially playing against each other. Kyrgios defeated Nadal in Acapulco while Nadal returned the favor at Wimbledon. Between those two matches, Kyrgios was vocal with his displeasure against the Spaniard, and the Aussie received a lot of flak for that.
If the match-up does happen, it will be a mouth-watering contest with emotions running high.
3. Denis Shapovalov vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Shapovalov and Tsitsipas have played quite a few times against each other, and their match in the third round of the Miami Open this year was one of the best among those. The tennis world would love to see more matches between this pair as both of them are aggressive in their approach towards the game.
4. Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Nick Kyrgios
This tie has all the possibilities of becoming the match of the tournament. The only previous encounter between Tsitsipas and Kyrgios, in the semi-finals of the Washington Open, went the distance and contained plenty of entertainment - at one point Kyrgios even delivered shoes to Tsitsipas as a friendly gesture.
In the Laver Cup we can expect these two players to talk to each other during the match and also exchange friendly verbal banter.
Let us also take a look at some of the potential doubles matches.
1. Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal vs Jack Sock-John Isner
Playing together in the inaugural edition of the Laver Cup in 2017, the iconic duo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal tasted success by defeating Jack Sock and Sam Querrey of Team World. Since both of them are most likely to team up once again for Team Europe, it will be interesting to see how well they cope with the combination of Sock and John Isner.
2. Stefanos Tsitsipas-Fabio Fognini vs Nick Kyrgios-Denis Shapovalov
Kyrgios has never teamed up with Shapovalov for doubles, and it would be interesting to see how this tie-up works out against another possible debutant doubles pairing in the form of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini. We can expect some fireworks in this contest as all four of the players love to define points on their own terms instead of waiting for the opponent to produce an error.
In addition, players like Dominic Thiem. Alexander Zverev, Milos Raonic and Taylor Fritz would love to create an impact and contribute to their respective teams. Zverev played a big role in Team Europe clinching their second title last year, and this time there might be another unlikely hero putting his hand up.