In a Ryder Cup-style tournament, which will see two teams – Team Europe and Team Rest of the World – compete against each other, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will join forces. Bjorn Borg will captain the European team, while American legend John McEnroe will lead the Rest of the World team.
The tournament is slated to start in Prague in September this year and is named after the Australian great Rod Laver. TEAM8, the management company founded by Roger Federer, created the concept to honor Laver and add a bit more spice to the tennis calender. The organizers have said that the tournament is inspired by golf's Ryder Cup, where a team from the USA competes against a team from Europe.
The Laver Cup will be held between September 22-24 and will be a permanent fixture in the tennis calender expect for the years in which the Olympics will be held. There will be three singles and one doubles matches held every day, and Roger Federer is eager to team-up with his arch rival Rafael Nadal and be not at the receiving end of his booming forehands for a change.
"I've always wanted to play with Rafa... just because our rivalry has been so special.
I've seen his wicked forehand go past me too often!
"I've seen his wicked forehand go past me too often!" Federer was quoted as saying by AFP.
The inaugural Laver Cup will be played at the O2 Arena in Prague with the future editions of this tournament set to be played across major cities of the world.
"Rod Laver wants us to represent our part of the world with pride and play our best and win for our teammates. We will play to our best possibilities," Federer told the media at the launch of the event in Prague.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have already signed up to play for the European team, which could also feature World No.2 Novak Djokovic and Olympic champion Andy Murray. Argentine Juan Martin del Potro and Canadian Milos Raonic are likely to lead the Rest of the World team. Each team will have six players in its squad—two of who will be named by the captains, while the remaining slots will be filled up based on ATP rankings.
"I think Team Europe are going to be big favourites but because of the setup of the Laver Cup I think the margins are always going to be very slim," said Federer.
World no.14 Tomas Berdych, who will be playing in front of his home crowd, has said that this is "a very nice opportunity to show Roger a little bit of the town."
A visibly excited Federer, who recently added to his Grand Slam tally at the Australian Open, added, "We were joking we should do this every day.
"I thought it was very particular, very unique -- it was definitely a privilege. It was a bit windy though."