Laver Cup merch on sale

With the second edition of the Laver Cup a week away, the official merchandise is finally available (via Tennis Warehouse, or on site at the outdoor fan zone as of Thursday).

It’s a bit surprising that it’s this late in the game, as they probably would have sold some when Roger Federer went on his promotional blitz in Chicago in March. Team Fed’s been wearing it all year.

Plus, only a couple of the items (including the towel) are actually 2018- and Chicago-specific.

Prices range from $28 for the visor to $78 for the quarter-zip. 

Let the Laver Cup promo begin

There are still 10 days to go before the second edition of the Laver Cup in Chicago.

We haven’t even gotten through the Davis Cup semifinals and World Group playoffs yet.

But the promotion has begun. First up is video put together during Roger Federer’s lightning trip to the Windy City last March, between Indian Wells and Miami.

It’s actually pretty neat to have four generations of tennis stars all at the same table, in one place as Federer, Rod Laver, World captain John McEnroe and Nick Kyrgios shoot the breeze.

Roster filled for Laver Cup Team Europe

The Laver Cup has announced the other members of Team Europe.

After Roger Federer (who has a big financial stake in the event) and Novak Djokovic, Team Europe also will have Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin and Alexander Zverev.

There will be one more pick, selected by captain Bjorn Borg.

For the moment, here’s Team World: Juan Martin del Potro, Kevin Anderson, John Isner (whose wife is due to give birth around that time), Diego Schwartzman and Nick Kyrgios.

One final player will be selected by captain John McEnroe.

Of course, there will be the inevitable withdrawals.

Anderson added to “Team World”

The lineups are taking shape for the second edition of the Laver Cup, slated for Chicago Sept. 21-23.

Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson joins Nick Kyrgios and other recent adds, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and American John Isner.

Only Kyrgios and Isner are returnees from last year’s debut edition in Prague.

So far, only Roger Federer (whose management company puts it on) and Novak Djokovic are on board for “Team Europe”.

In the real tennis world, Anderson is sidelined for a bit. He skipped Team Tennis this week, and pulled out of next week’s Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

Laver Cup won’t skip OIympic year

The original Laver Cup plan was to hold it three consecutive years – and then take a break during Olympic years.

Plans have changed. It will go on in 2020, when the Summer Games are held in Tokyo.

“The strong demand compels us to build on the great momentum the Laver Cup has created by holding the event every year,” managing director Steve Zacks said. “There is no reason to take a year off.”

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro are on board for 2018. Rafael Nadal, committed to Davis Cup, is doubtful.

Laver Cup tix a pricey business

Series tickets for September’s second Laver Cup went on sale Friday.

The cheapest price for the three-day event is $445 ($115/day) – plus fees. Your total – for one ticket – will be $500.90. To go with a friend, you’re talking over $1000 for the weekend.

Top price for VIP series tickets is $7,500 ($7,563.75 with the fees).

Even when they get to the single-day sales, the cheapest ticket will still be more than $130. 

Note the new “us open” logo attached, as the American Slam is attached to this exhibition event just as the Australian Open is.

Personal gesture for Kyrgios

Athletes in various sports took a knee over the weekend as an act of silent protest against racial inequality.

Australian Nick Kyrgios did the same before his match against Roger Federer at the Laver Cup in Prague.

Most assumed he did so in solidarity. But Kyrgios said it was a personal gesture.

“I’m doing that before most matches just to remember, you know, the two most important people that have passed away,” Kyrgios said afterwards.

Kyrgios has had both grandfather Christos Kyrgios and grandmother Julianah Foster pass away over the last two years.

Federer-Mercedes-Laver Cup promo

Just about everything surrounding the Laver Cup was rife with sponsorship and promotion. Which perhaps is one reason why some fans had trouble taking it seriously as a competition.

There’s something to that, of course. Here’s Federer doing a quick little video about “stealing the Laver Cup”.

When you look at the truck, though – it’s the Mercedes “official trophy car”.

Beyond the promotional aspect, who knew Mercedes made a pickup truck? 

Now, you do.

Laver Cup goes all-black

There will be plenty of intrigue at the Laver Cup exhibition this weekend in Prague.

But the first thing that stands out is the court.

It’s black.

Yup, black.

The ball should stand out nicely against that backdrop, for television. As long as the players themselves don’t wear black!

Less intriguing may be the outcome, with “Team World” without some big potential weapons in Kei Nishikori, Juan Martin del Potro and Milos Raonic. Top player Nick Kyrgios is not a healthy fellow, either. 

It starts Friday.

Shapovalov makes Laver Cup

They say timing is everything in life.

And Canadian Denis Shapovalov’s star turn less than two weeks ago at the Rogers Cup in Montreal clearly turned a few heads over at Laver Cup Central.

The 18-year-old was named to the “rest of the world” squad that will complete against a European squad that will include Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Heady company indeed.

Shapovalov will have to head to Prague immediately after his country’s Davis Cup playoff tie against India in western Canada.