Federer, Djokovic and Murray get new Laver Cup opponent after brilliant US Open run | Tennis | Sport


Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will be joined by Frances Tiafoe at this year’s Laver Cup, which is set to be held in London later this month. Tiafoe was one of the standout packages at the US Open, with the 24-year-old capturing the hearts of his home fans by reaching the semi-finals before losing at the hands of eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz.

Tiafoe climbed into the world’s top 20 as a result of his impressive run at Flushing Meadows and has since been rewarded with a place at the Laver Cup, where he will be expected to strut his stuff for Team World. The Maryland native will be making his third appearance at the tournament after competing at the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague in 2017 and then again in Chicago in 2018.

He will be replacing John Isner, who was originally selected to represent Team World but has since been forced to withdraw from the competition due to a wrist injury. Team captain John McEnroe spoke of his delight at handing Tiafoe a well-deserved call-up in the wake of his strong showing at the US Open, during which he proved that he is able to mix it with the very best.

“I am thrilled to have Frances on the team,” said McEnroe. “He has raised his game to a whole new level and has shown that he can compete and win against the best players on tour, plus he brings a positive energy that should help the entire team.”

Tiafoe will be joined by Felix Auger-Aliassime, Taylor Fritz, Diego Schwartzman, Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock at Team World, who will be aiming to win the Laver Cup from defending champions Team Europe. McEnroe’s six-man team will need to work hard to overcome the star-studded lineup of Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud.

Rafael Nadal has also been named as part of Team Europe but whether or not the Spaniard will be able to play at the tournament remains uncertain at this stage. He plunged his Laver Cup participation in doubt earlier this month by admitting that he is unsure when he will return amid his recent injury setback and the fact that his pregnant wife was recently admitted to hospital as a precaution.

“I need to go back [home], fix things and I don’t know when I’m going to come back,” Nadal told reporters after losing at the hands of Tiafoe at the US Open. “When I feel ready mentally to compete again… I will do it.

“I have no idea about my schedule at the moment. There is more important things related to my personal life at home now, personal life always much more important than my job. It’s time to reset, it’s been some tough months.”

Nadal was comprehensively beaten by Tiafoe in the quarter-finals of the US Open, with the home favourite registering the biggest win of his career to put himself at the very forefront of the sport. It remains to be seen whether Tiafoe’s red-hot form will be able to inspire Team World to an unlikely Laver Cup triumph over the coming weeks, though, with Team Europe the overwhelming favourites to claim the spoils over the course of the three-day event.


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