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ATP And Laver Cup Join Forces | ATP Tour


The ATP and the Laver Cup announced today an agreement that will make the annual men’s team event, in which Europe takes on the rest of the world, an official part of the annual ATP Tour calendar.

The agreement gives the event, now approaching its third competition in Geneva, Switzerland this September, access to ATP services, including marketing and social media, along with operational personnel such as officials and physios.

“The Laver Cup team is incredibly excited about this partnership with the ATP. It has always been our hope to build the Laver Cup in partnership with the tennis world, and certification by the ATP after only two editions is an overwhelming validation of our vision,” said Tony Godsick, President and CEO of TEAM8, and Chairman of the Laver Cup.

“We created the Laver Cup to celebrate the greats of the game – past, present and future – and grow interest in our great sport of tennis,” Godsick added. “Partnering with the ATP positions us to continue to achieve that mission and reach even greater audiences.”

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said that the reception by tennis fans globally was a major factor in the ATP’s wish to form a partnership.

“The Laver Cup has struck a chord with fans worldwide in a very short time,” said Kermode. “It’s been great to see the passionate participation of the players and the response from the fans at the sold-out events in Prague and Chicago. This event has great potential to reach new fans around the world, and all of us at the ATP are excited to include the Laver Cup as an official part of the ATP Tour calendar and have it featured alongside other tournaments on all our platforms.”

Roger Federer, a partner in TEAM8 who tasked his team with creating the Laver Cup to honour not just the great Rod Laver, but the coterie of tennis legends who paved the way for the success of the current game, said he was delighted with the news.

“As I come closer to the end of my playing career, it’s wonderful to know that the Laver Cup will be part of the tour that I’ve dedicated more than 20 years of my life to. This partnership is a wonderful example of how the tennis family can unite to promote and grow the sport we all love.”

Currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of winning the ‘Grand Slam’ for the second time in 1969, Rod Laver praised the ATP’s official endorsement of his namesake event which has further cemented his legacy.

“I am grateful to the ATP for recognising that the Laver Cup plays an important role in raising awareness of the amateur era of tennis and my fellow ‘barnstormers”. I am honoured and thankful for what has been achieved and to Roger for doing this for us,” said Laver.

The values of the Laver Cup – commitment to excellence, focus on the team, respect for the opponent, and love for the game – has been embodied by the two inaugural captains, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.

“Anyone who has seen the Laver Cup knows this is an event that everyone had to get behind. I am proud to have been a part of its genesis, and thankful to the ATP for choosing to endorse it,” said McEnroe.

“The Laver Cup is my favourite week of the year,” said Borg. “I have enjoyed working with all the generations of players and being in front of the fans once again.”

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who played the second Laver Cup last year in Chicago, said, “The Laver Cup is a true celebration of tennis that is loved by the fans and embraced by the players. I experienced it first hand as a player, and as President of the ATP Player Council I’m proud to support this collaboration.”

ATP Tournament Board Representative Charles Humphrey Smith said, “The Laver Cup showcases the world’s greatest male tennis players in a whole new way. It grows interest in the game which benefits all of us in the industry.”

The third edition of the Laver Cup will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 20-22 September 2019. Register at LaverCup.com for more information and to receive regular updates.





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Preview: Djokovic, Nadal Face Off In Rome Final | ATP Tour


A treasured rivalry will be renewed as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal square off for the title at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. They co-own the record for most ATP Masters 1000 titles (33) and the winner of Sunday’s final will hold it solo.

This is their eighth meeting in Rome. Nadal edges Djokovic 4-3 in their mini-series at the ATP Masters 1000 event, which includes four finals (2-2). Djokovic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 28-25.

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“He’s my greatest rival of all time, for sure,” said Djokovic. “I’ve had so many matches against him. We have the longest rivalry of tennis of all time. Every time we get to play each other, it’s a thrill. It’s the ultimate challenge.”

Djokovic has had a much harder road to the final than his opponent. While Nadal dropped just 13 games and dished out three 6-0 sets, the Serbian saved two match points to defeat Juan Martin del Potro in an epic quarter-final and followed it up with another grueling three-set win over Diego Schwartzman. The Serbian has spent five hours and 34 minutes on court since Friday, compared to three hours and 22 minutes for Nadal.

“It’s obvious that I played more than Rafa. At the same time, I’m in the finals and that’s a great success,” said Djokovic. “It’s not the first time I find myself in these kinds of situations. I feel okay, [but] of course not as fresh as at the beginning of the week. It is what it is. I’ll try to recover for tomorrow.”

The top seed has compiled a greater track record against the world’s best players than Nadal has over the past year. Djokovic is 18-1 against Top 10 players since Wimbledon and 5-0 in 2019, compared to 1-3 this season for the Spaniard. The four-time Rome champion is hoping to lift his first title here since 2015 (d. Federer), but knows he’ll need to bring his best tennis to defeat Nadal.

“He’s one of the greatest champions this game has ever seen. His mentality, his approach, his resilience, ability to fight back after long absence from the tour, injuries, surgeries…he’s had it all,” said Djokovic. “He keeps on showing to the world why he’s one of the biggest legends of tennis history. I have the greatest respect for him.”

Read More: The Eternal Rivalry

Defending champion Nadal has prevailed eight times at the Foro Italico, but is searching for his first title in 2019. He recorded consecutive semi-final finishes during the European clay swing at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and Mutua Madrid Open, but broke the streak on Saturday by getting revenge on #NextGenATP greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated him last week in Madrid.

Nadal has been in brutal form from the first ball in Rome. He’s only been broken once this week, holding in 31 of 32 service games (97%) and leading the tournament in return games won (76%, 22 of 29). He is still unbeaten in Rome semi-finals (11-0) and picked up his 60th win at this event over Tsitsipas.

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The Spaniard is competing in an astounding 50th Masters 1000 final (33-16) and has a clear history of success in Rome. But as always, Nadal has mentally wiped the slate clean and will be solely focused on the job at hand against Djokovic.

“The main thing is I am playing better,” said Nadal. “For me, tomorrow is an opportunity to play against a great player. It’s another test. I hope to be ready to compete well. It’s going to be a tough one.”

The doubles final will see sixth-seeded South African-Kiwi duo Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus face the third-seeded Colombian pair of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. Defending champions Cabal/Farah prevailed last month in Barcelona (d. Murray/Soares) and Klaasen/Venus seek their first ATP Tour doubles title this season.

ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2019

CENTRALE start 1:00 pm
WTA match
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) 

PIETRANGELI start 2:00 pm
ATP – [3] Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) / Rober Farah (COL) vs [6] Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Michael Venus (NZL) 





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