Laver Cup to feature every year in tennis calendar

LONDON: The Laver Cup seems to have won fans the world over in its very first year itself. Taking strong market demand into account, the organisers of the tennis competition announced on Tuesday that it will be made into an annual event every year, including 2020 in which the Olympics will be held.  

Having a format that is based on golf’s popular Ryder Cup, the Laver Cup pits six of the best male tennis players from Europe and the rest of the world against each other. The event saw sell-out crowds in Prague last year, which also featured legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal playing a doubles game in the same team for the first time ever. Its innovations and favourable player response was one of the highlights last year. 

With this year’s event to be held in Chicago, tickets are selling at a rapid pace already and the organizers will also be revealing the venue of the 2019 and 2020 competitions, which are likely to take place in Europe. 

It has Rolex as its founding partner, global sponsors Mercedes-Benz and JPMorgan Chase, and champagne brand Moet & Chandon as its global suppliers. NetJets has joined the partner coterie for 2018, along with event sponsor Grey Poupon.

The organisers are expected to announce additional partners and new broadcasters later this month.  

“On the back of Prague, strong player interest, and the amazing public and commercial response for this year’s event in Chicago, we feel the time is right to publicly map out our next phase of growth,” Laver Cup managing director Steve Zacks explained.

“We initially scheduled the event for three consecutive years with the Olympic year off. But the strong demand compels us to build on the great momentum the Laver Cup has created by holding the event every year.

“The intense competition, great team chemistry, the black court, unique scoring system, innovative broadcast and superb fan experience all contributed to a benchmark we aim to exceed in Chicago and each year thereafter. There is no reason to take a year off.”

The tournament also announced that 12-time Grand Slam champion, Novak Djokovic and 2009 US Open champion, Juan Martin del Potro will be featuring in this year’s tournament.