The friendly rivalry between Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas looks set to continue next month in Geneva after both tennis stars were selected to play on opposite teams in the annual team event, the Laver Cup, contested by Team World and Team Europe.
The annual event was first contested in Prague in 2017 when Roger Federer, representing Team Europe, defeated Nick Kyrgios representing Team World, in a close fought trophy decider.
Team Europe has won the annual event two years running, which for the first time this year is being recognised as an official event by the ATP. This year will be the third successive year in which Kyrgios has been selected to represent Team World, captained by John McEnroe.
Kyrgios says he’s looking forward to being part of the team in the Laver Cup, “I’ve always said that the Laver Cup is my favourite week of the year, and how much it means to me to get around the team and play for something bigger than just myself.
“At the Laver Cup it’s not just about me, it’s about doing everything I can to help the other guys feel comfortable, prepare for their matches and even give them some energy from the side of the court, if that’s what needs to be done.
“We’ve had some heartbreaking losses over the past couple of years and it means the world to me to have the chance to get out there again with the team and try to get the win for Team World.”
Team World captain John McEnroe was fulsome in his praise of the mercurial Kyrgios and what he can bring to the team in the upcoming tournament.
“We all know how passionate Nick is about playing for Team World at the Laver Cup, and I’m very happy he’ll be joining us again in Geneva,” McEnroe said.
“Nick’s had some fantastic results recently and he always manages to bring his best game to this event, and he absolutely does whatever he can to support the team, both on and off the court. He’s the ultimate team player.
“Nick, like me and the rest of the team, is extremely motivated to get the win this year. We are not going to Geneva just to make up the numbers – we are going there to bring home that magnificent trophy.”
For Tsitsipas, it will be the first time he will represent Team Europe which is captained by Bjorn Borg. He commented on learning of his selection, “The Laver Cup is a unique and memorable event in tennis and I can’t wait to join Team Europe in Geneva,” Tsitsipas said.
“For me personally it’s like a dream come true to be part of this incredible team, with Roger and Rafa, who I’ve looked up to since I was a little kid, along with Dom, Sascha and Fabio.
“In tennis we are always out on the court alone, it’s such an individual sport. It’s going to be a new experience for me to play on a team, especially this team of unbelievable champions, and it will be an honour to join all these legends at the Laver Cup.”
Team Europe skipper Borg was also excited to have Tsitsipas as part of his team, commenting “I am very happy to have Stefanos join Team Europe, it’s fantastic, he has been doing so well this year and has had some spectacular results,” Borg said.
“It’s so important to bring in these exciting new, young players, the next generation, to our team, alongside our champions like Roger and Rafa Stefanos is a truly exciting young player and I know the fans will also love him.”
The two players have recently seen a lot of each other meeting in a singles match in Washington as well as teaming up to play doubles in two US tournaments in the lead up to the US Open, at the Citi Open in Washington late last month, and the Cincinatti Masters on Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, they were bundled out in the opening rounds of each by the same opposing doubles team of Robert Farah and Juan Cabal.
Team Europe: Rafael Nadal (world No.2), Roger Federer (3), Dominic Thiem (4), Alexander Zverev (6), Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Fabio Fognini (10).
Team World: Kevin Anderson (14), John Isner (16), Milos Raonic (20), Nick Kyrgios (27), Denis Shapovalov (34), final player to be named.