Shapovalov, Nadal, Federer headline Laver Cup on TSN


Shapovalov, Nadal, Federer headline Laver Cup on TSN

Roger Federer hopes Team Europe can ride on Rafael Nadal's coat-tails to claim victory at the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague.

Sources told The Post Federer and Rafael Nadal, in unprecedented fashion, will be paired in doubles for Team Europe during the event. It will the two legends' first appearance on the same side of the court in a rivalry which has spanned the best part of two decades.

Captained by John McEnroe, Team World is made up of players from North and South America and Australia.

"I'm very happy he's on my side of the team and not on the other side", Federer said of Nadal.

Juan Martin del Potro joined Milos Raonic in withdrawing due to fitness concerns, the Argentine replaced by 19-year-old Tiafoe. At least four of the six men on each team must play doubles and no doubles combination can take the court together a couple of times. On Friday and Saturday, there will be a day and night session followed by a final single day session on Sunday. "I didn't practice here yet, of course after the US Open". Every player will play either one or two singles matches throughout the tournament, and at least four of six members of each team will play doubles. "I can't wait to start on Saturday as well, but tomorrow I'll be the big supporter".

The 2017 vintage of the last Grand Slam of the tennis calendar, the US Open, has barely been consigned to memory, but elite men's tennis makes a return this Friday as the inaugural Laver Cup commences in Prague's O2 arena. McEnroe is trying to bring the Laver Cup next year to NY but a source said Boston is the front-runner. He said he was looking forward to the different nature of the Laver Cup.

On Day 1, Europe will have Nadal play with local hero Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic against American Jack Sock and Australian Nick Kyrgios. "We're definitely underdogs, going into it, but I think we've got the weapons and we can definitely win this competition".