Opinion: The pros and cons of the Laver Cup

Team Europe clinched their third consecutive Laver Cup win
Team Europe clinched their third consecutive Laver Cup win

The third edition of Laver Cup hosted at Geneva, Switzerland witnessed a pulsating finish as Alexander Zverev overcame a challenge from Milos Raonic in a dramatic fashion in what was a virtual final contest of the tournament. The young German won the match at tie-break (10-4) after the Canadian drew level by winning the second set.

After trailing 7-11 on the points table on day 3, Team Europe had to win both the remaining matches as they chased a hat-trick of Laver Cup wins. Swiss maestro Roger Federer set the stage beautifully for the young German to deliver the winning punch as the former defeated John Isner 6-4, 7-6(7-3) to keep the hopes of Team Europe alive.

Zverev didn’t let his teammates down, upping the ante in the tie-break to seal the Laver Cup win for Team Europe as there was ecstasy and jubilation for the star-studded team.

While it is true that the Laver Cup definitely exceeded its expectations this year and is here to stay in the years to follow, here are a few pros and cons of the tournament and what can be done differently to add more spice to the contest.


Tennis is a very individualistic driven sport and it hardly encourages the concept of a team effort, except for a select few events like the Davis Cup and Olympics. On the other hand, the Laver Cup is a team sport version which promotes the zeal, values and idiosyncrasies of the team effort.

Although the conventional format of tennis robs players of sideline and mid-match coaching, the Laver Cup offers a platform for individuals to experience the joys of being coached by fellow teammates throughout the match.

One of the beauties of any sport is the exchange of ideas and knowledge it promotes through the medium of league events. The IPL, for example, over the years saw Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid playing for the same team and it was a successful partnership between the two, enabling the former to prosper in the years to come.

At this year’s Laver Cup, it was wonderful to come across Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer coaching the likes of Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas along the sidelines, passing on their intricate insights of the game to the younger generation of players. We don’t often witness this phenomenon unfolding on a tennis court but thanks to Laver Cup, it has become possible.

The format of the Laver Cup draws inspiration from Golf’s Ryder Cup, offering one point per victory on day 1, two points on the next day and three points for the matches on day 3, which is engaging and ensures that there is never a dull moment across any day of the tournament.

This innovative format makes sure that any team can win only on the final day of the tournament and removes any one-sided nature to the tournament, which has added freshness and a sense of novelty to the sport in general, which otherwise majorly follows the same patterns of play for any tournament on any surface around the world.

Laver Cup 2019 - Borg(L), Nadal and Federer(R)
Laver Cup 2019 - Borg(L), Nadal and Federer(R)

Last but not the least, the Laver Cup has managed to thoroughly entertain its viewers by bringing about unique pairings of stalwarts of the game like Federer and Nadal in 2017 and Federer-Djokovic last year when the ‘Big 3’ of the men’s tennis featured as doubles partners for the first time in their long and illustrious careers.


While Team Europe has always been a star-studded line-up and this year was no different, Team World appears to be distinctly weak, at least on paper as compared to team Europe.

Five of the players from Team Europe currently rank within the top 10 of men’s rankings and Fabio Fognini, the last of them is ranked 11th. On the contrary, John Isner, the top-ranked player of Team World is currently ranked 20th, far from Team’s Europe’s lowest-ranked player Fognini.

Indeed, tennis off late has predominantly become a European sport and the rankings are clear evidence to this fact, however, can anything be done to restore the balance between these two teams?

While the Laver Cup does manage to encourage tennis as a team sport, it still does not find the right way to promote the game as a global sport, leaving the competition lop-sided.

In spite of the Laver Cup gaining the status of an ATP tournament this year, the tournament still does not offer any ATP points for the players to gain. For the likes of Federer or Nadal, the handful points of Laver Cup won’t have any impact on their rankings, but these points would certainly mean a lot for the players like Fognini, Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic and so on.

If indeed the Laver Cup starts awarding ATP points to the players in the future, it would just be an additional incentive for players, encouraging more individuals to take part in the tournament in the years to follow.

Nonetheless, Laver Cup 2019 was a brilliant spectacle to watch, having entertained the fans with high octane drama, many edge of the seat thrillers and a sensational climax that brought down the curtains on the event.

Note: The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Sportskeeda.

Who Are Roger Federer's Kids? Know All About Federer's Twins

Quick Links

Edited by Prasen Moudgal
Be the first one to comment