It has been confirmed that a new team event inspired by the Ryder Cup will begin in 2017 on the men’s tour.
The event will be called the Laver Cup, in honor of 11-time Grand Slam champion Rod Laver. The event will consist of two teams of six players (Europe and the rest of the world). The 3-day event will select four players per team based on their ranking and then an additional two in what will be called the ‘captains pick’.
It is understood that there will not fixed venue for the tournament, similar to the Davis Cup. It will occur annually in September, except during an Olympic year. The first edition of the event will take place at a yet to be confirmed European indoor venue according to the New York Times.
The purposed team tournament was created by Team8, the agency which represents Roger Federer. The original idea of honoring Laver came from Federer himself. Speaking about the new event on Wednesday, the 34-year-old discussed why he thinks it is important to honor sporting legends such as Laver.
“Rod Laver is someone I’ve always thought was very inspiring,” Federer said on Wednesday.
“I think it’s important to leave a legacy for the legends, and Rod Laver to me stands out because of his achievements and his character and everything. And that’s when the idea came of the Laver Cup, to name a cup after him and to also have captains which then lead a team of today’s players.”
The event has been backed by Tennis Australia and Jorge Paulo. Paulo is a Brazilian Investor who was named by Forbes as Brazil’s richest man in 2015 with a net worth of $21.30 billion.
Speaking about having an event named after him, 77-year-old Laver spoke of his support for the event.
It’s just a great honor that my name is going to be on this,” Laver said
“I think all the European players now, they seem to be in the driver’s seat, but I think it will be a fair competition, and I think it will be very competitive. It’s a unique concept in tennis. It’s in golf, and it’s been successful anytime they’ve done it with the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup. I’ve never seen those events live, but I’ve watched them on television, and it seems to bring out the nerves.”
The event will consist of three singles matches and one doubles. Participating players will receive prize money, however, they will receive no appearance fees. There is yet to be any comments from other players concerning the proposed event.
REPORT: Valencia To Host Group Stage Of Davis Cup Finals As Part Of Five-Year Deal
It is understood that negotiations are at an advanced stage and an announcement could be made very soon.
The Spanish city of Valencia has been chosen as the fourth and final host of the group stages of the Davis Cup Finals, according to two separate media sources.
Regional newspaper Las Provincias has reported that negotiations have been ongoing between officials in the region and Kosmos, the investment company who oversees the running of the tournament. It has been reported that talks between the two are at an ‘advance’ stage with it only being a matter of time before a deal is finalized.
An announcement is expected to be made as early as this week that Valencia has signed a five-year deal to host the Davis Cup. However, the venue of where the event will be hosted is still to be confirmed. One of the options is the bullring known as the Plaza de Toros de Valencia which has staged numerous Davis Cup ties in the past. However, another venue may seem more suitable considering the time of year and the fact four teams are taking part.
Valencia’s rumoured appointment fills in the gap left by Malaga who have been named host of the knockout finals in November after initially being awarded the chance to hold one of the four group stages along with Glasglow, Bologna and Hamburg. Malaga will also host the finale in 2023 as well. Making it the fourth time in a row the finale of the event has been held in Spain.
News outlet Levante–EMV has also confirmed Valencia’s intention to host the team event and say officials have already expressed a desire to one day host the knock-out stages in November. Although there is no guarantee that will happen.
The development comes shortly after France pulled out of the bidding process due to what they described as ‘onerous’ financial and operational conditions which none of their potential organizers was willing to accept. France was initially excluded from the hosting process and filed a case to the Court of Arbitration in March for Sport (CAS) saying the decision was unfair. However, a month later they were allowed to take part. It is unclear as to why they were initially excluded.
Davis Cup officials are yet to publicly comment on Valencia’s appointment but it is expected that they will do so very soon. In their latest communication, organizers said they plan to announce the fourth host of the group stages, which is said to be Valencia, before the draw takes place on April 26th.
The group stages of the 2022 Davis Cup Finals will take place from 14-18 September. Each group will consist of four teams with ties being a best-of-three rubbers taking place on the same day. The top two teams from each group will then progress to the knockout stages which will take place between November 23-27.
Emma Raducanu Believes Clay Could Be ‘One Of Her Strongest’ Surfaces
The world No.12 is yet to play a Tour event on the clay but she has high hopes for the future.
US Open champion Emma Raducanu may still be relatively new to the WTA Tour but she believes the upcoming clay swing could help provide her with the foundations to shine on the surface.
Raducanu, who made her WTA debut last June, is yet to play a Tour event on the clay. In fact, she has never played a senior event of any kind on the surface. However, during her junior event she played in nine clay tournaments between 2016-2018, including the 2018 girls French Open where she lost in the second round to Denmark’s Clara Tauson.
Despite her lack of experience, the Brit remains confident that she will be able to thrive on the surface. Speaking to reporters ahead of her country’s Billie Jean Cup tie with the Czech Republic, which will take place on clay, Raducanu believes her love for sliding on the court will help her in the coming years.
“I feel this could be one of my strongest surfaces going forward but of course it’s early days right now,” she said.
“I feel like I have got a lot more potential physically. And I do enjoy sliding. So, after spending more time on this surface, I’m sure I’ll time it better and learn more about the surface but also just the time that the clay brings. I feel like I can really use it and play aggressive.”
Since her breakthrough run at the US Open last September, Raducanu has struggled to maintain her form with a series of disappointing results. So far this season the rising star has managed to win just two out of seven matches played. Four out of her five losses were to players ranked outside the world’s top 50.
Part of the problem for the 19-year-old has been her own body. She has suffered from a hip injury which forced her to retire from a match in Mexico earlier this year and has also been hindered by blisters. Furthermore, Raducanu revealed that she has also lost all of her toenails. Prompting British team captain Anne Keothavong to joke that everybody is ‘a little bit scared’ by her toes.
“I have no toenails,” Raducanu stated.
“It was just my foot, my shoes, they’ve just been sliding around a lot [in the shoe].
“I had a small niggle in Miami but now I have no physical thing.”
Raducanu will be hoping to lead her country to victory in their Billie Jean King Cup tie which will be held in Prague. It will be the first time she has ever played in the event.
“I love playing as a team, especially the team we’ve got here,” she said.
“I feel like everyone has been a lot of fun and there’s been a great connection off court, whether that’s playing murder mystery games or cornhole, we’re definitely bonding and gelling very well.”
Raducanu is the only top 20 player participating in the tie.
Alexander Zverev Hits Out At Brazilian Crowd Following Davis Cup Tie
Playing in his first event since being disqualified from an ATP event, Germany’s top player has accused some of those attending the tie of being ‘rude.’
Alexander Zverev says ‘lines were crossed’ by some fans attending his country’s Davis Cup tie against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro over the weekend.
The world No.3 said members of his family received verbal abuse from some of those attending the tie during his matches. Zverev also accused the same people of ‘being rude all the time’ whilst he was serving. Although he didn’t elaborate on exactly what was said. Zverev played in two singles matches which he won in straight sets against Thiago Monteiro and Thiago Seyboth Wild.
“It gets towards, you know, your family members or when it gets towards somebody that you love, this is where I draw the line for respect. That line was crossed, basically, you know, every single game we play.” Zverev said following his second match of the tie on Saturday.
“Someone can say what they want to me, they can like it or hate me, I understand that now they don’t like me very much. In my match and in the doubles match, they (the crowd) were rude all the time of the (my) serve. People who came to watch tennis, cheer for Brazil, and be respectful. They have my greatest respect. I enjoyed playing in an atmosphere that was high, energetic, but some crossed the line.”
This weekend was the first competitive matches Zverev had played since getting kicked out of the Mexican Open for unsportsmanlike conduct. During a first round doubles match at the tournament he repeatedly swore at the umpire and then hit his chair multiple times with his racket. At one stage he narrowly missed hitting the foot of the umpire. He was later fined a total of $40,000 and lost all of his prize money earned from the tournament. Although former world No.1 Mats Wilander believes more action should have been taken against the player.
As a result of the outburst, the ATP has launched an investigation as part of its protocol. Making it the second investigation they have launched against the former US Open finalist. The first is an ongoing look into allegations he physically abused his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova during the 2019 Shanghai Masters. Journalist Jose Morgado reports that Olga’s name was shouted a couple times by members of the crowd during this week’s Davis Cup tie.
It is unknown as to when either of these investigations will be completed by.
Despite the controversy, Germany cruised to an overall 3-1 win over Brazil to seal their place in the finals later this year. The team will be hoping to go one step further than they did in 2021 when they managed to reach the semi-final stage for the first time in 14 years.
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