Federer, Borg kick off Laver Cup

A year ago, Roger Federer made a quick trip to Chicago between Indian Wells and Miami to do promotion for his event, the Laver Cup.

This year, with the exhibition being held in Geneva, the launch happened Friday, coordinated with the two-hour sellout of tickets Friday morning.

The high of 46F in Geneva was above normal. But Federer and Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg were well bundled. Federer likely was head-to-toe Uniqlo – with a change of outfit for the press conference.

Of course, he toted his Rimowa™ suitcase and strolled by the Mercedeses.  A well-oiled machine.

Laver Cup tix on sale Friday

Multi-session tickets for the 2019 edition of the Laver Cup will be on sale online Friday at 10 a.m. Geneva time.

The only indication of cost is that the five-session package starts at 250 Swiss Francs (which are about on par with the US dollar).

Whatever’s left may be available for single-session sale later on. But with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal committed to play, in Switzerland, there might not be much left in the 17,000-seat Palexpo.

 If you register on the Laver Cup site by 5:59 p.m. EST, you can have a shot at a two-hour presale window on Tuesday.

It takes a … world to coach Tiafoe

For all of the downsides of Laver Cup – i.e., it’s an exhibition, for money – the Team World dynamic through the first edition and Friday’s Day 1 in Chicago is a major winner.

Not always fully engaged in his own matches, Nick Kyrgios is all in for this format. During the opener between Frances Tiafoe and Grigor Dimitrov, he arguably did more coaching then Captain McEnroe.

Spare a thought for a bewildered Tiafoe, though. He was besieged by changeover advice from McEnroe, Kyrgios AND Jack Sock. All at once.

Luckily he had Diego Schwartzman to make him laugh.

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.