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Roger Federer calls Rod Laver a "hero" after arriving in Boston, manager Tony Godsick reveals tickets for 2021 Laver Cup are sold out

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Roger Federer poses with the Laver Cup 2021 trophy
Roger Federer poses with the Laver Cup 2021 trophy

Roger Federer has arrived in Boston for the Laver Cup, much to the surprise of the fans. After his arrival the Swiss and his manager Tony Godsick spoke at length about the legacy of Rod Laver and the tournament they created in 2017.

Federer and his manager revealed they were toying with the idea of a Ryder Cup-like event in tennis before coming up with the current tournament, which is named after Australian legend Rod Laver. The Laver Cup was recognized as an official ATP event in 2019 and has gone from strength to strength since then.

When asked to elaborate on Laver's importance to the world of tennis, Federer explained that the 11-time Slam champion is idolized by many of the greats, including John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, and himself. The Swiss then went on to heap praise on Laver for achieving a remarkable double Calendar Slam.

"Yeah I mean, for me the legacy is really important, that we remember it in tennis because we have a really rich history and Rod Laver of course, I think was the hero to a lot of us, especially Bjorn Borg, to John and also to me he was that big legend who was able to win two times the Grand Slam winning all four Majors in the same year," Federer told CNBC.
"To me legacy is really important, that we remember it in tennis because we have a really rich history," says @RogerFederer on @LaverCup. "Having rivals become teammates--the first three editions have been wonderful in Prague, Chicago, Geneva now finally we are here in Boston." https://t.co/J29OrfHr5v

Rod Laver began his career on the Amateur tour, and eventually turned professional in 1963. Like all other professionals, he was barred from taking part in Grand Slams until the Open Era began in 1968.

Federer highlighted this fact and explained how it inspired him and Godsick to come up with the idea of a tournament like the Laver Cup. The Swiss said one of the functions of the Laver Cup is to preserve the legacy of the sport while also allowing younger players to mingle with the veterans of the game.

"He is also the one that went from amateur to professional sport, so that's where the idea came in with Tony and myself once in Shanghai that we could do something for the legacy of the game and incorporate all the young ones coming through, to learn from the best like John and Bjorn as an example and having rivals become teammates," Federer added.

Tony Godsick, who is Team8's CEO as well as Federer's manager, echoed the Swiss' comments, highlighting how they were keen to "honor" Laver and other players who sacrificed Grand Slam participation by turning professional.

"As Roger said, we wanted to do something to honor Rod Laver and his fellow barnstormers who sort of took off four and a half years from playing Grand Slams to usher in the professional game," Godsick said.
"This is our fourth sell-out since we started in Prague. People love it," says @LaverCup co-founder Tony Godsick on this weekend's tournament. "These guys are killing each other day in and day out on the tour. Giving them an opportunity to be on a team for one weekend is great." https://t.co/tiRUl0Glqz

Godsick then shed some light on how he and Federer were inspired by golf's team competition, the Ryder Cup. Godsick said he came up with the format for the Laver Cup after taking a look at the Ryder Cup, a biennial tournament featuring teams from Europe and the United States.

The Laver Cup, like the Ryder Cup, allows players who normally face off against one another to team up and compete under the same flag.

Federer's manager also revealed that all tickets to the 2021 Laver Cup had been sold out, just like they had been in the three previous editions of the tournament.

"So we were really into the Ryder Cup, we liked what they were doing, we thought how great it would be if rivals became teammates," Godsick added. "Normally in other events you see country versus country and this gave an opportunity for rivals to be on the same team. We sketched it out on a piece of paper and the format is what works."
"We are fortunate to have - this is our fourth sell-out since we started in Prague and people love it. The players get together, these guys are killing it day in and day out on tour, so giving them an opportunity to be on a team for one weekend is great."

Roger Federer poses with the Laver Cup trophy and greets Stefanos Tsitsipas

Roger Federer will not compete in the fourth edition of the Laver Cup due to a knee problem, but that did not stop him from traveling to Boston to take in the atmosphere of the competition. Federer posed for numerous photographs, two of which have been doing the rounds on social media.

The Swiss was seen standing with the Laver Cup trophy and was also spotted with Team Europe member Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Roger Federer hugs Stefanos Tsitsipas at the TD Garden.
Roger Federer hugs Stefanos Tsitsipas at the TD Garden.

Team Europe have won all three editions of the Laver Cup held till date and they are the favorites to lift the crown for a fourth straight time this year.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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