“You get to enjoy it a lot more” – Laver Cup’s team element creates electricity for players and fans
In the nomadic world of professional tennis, players frequently find themselves on an island by themselves, but not in the warm and fuzzy Laver Cup environment.
Season after season on tour, players log frequent flier miles and show up at events with their entourages, interested in one thing and one thing only: winning.
That’s the name of the game on tour, where players are too busy trying to realise their dreams to get too invested in the success of anyone else.
But things are different at Laver Cup, where the team takes center stage in the competition and the all for one, one for all mentality is embraced. Finally, a chance for players to let their guard down and invest in somebody besides themselves.
It’s a welcome change for many, and it’s one of the reasons why Laver Cup has a unique charm that makes it an event that fans and players alike can embrace with open arms.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, who played some of his best tennis in months to help Team World to a 13-2 victory this weekend, says that he enjoys sharing the spoils of victory with teammates.
“Every time I play for a team, I feel really good and I feel like I played good levels,” he said. Of course I had a great time.
“You know the tour can get, playing singles all the time, can get a bit lonely, I guess at times, and to have teammates to win as a team, for me it’s really special. I’m having a great time again this year.
“I have created friendships, created good friendships with the guys over the years in this event.”
Taylor Fritz, who like Auger-Aliassime has been a part of both of Team World’s victories, ranks his Laver Cup experience as one of the most meaningful of his career.
“Obviously we all got to celebrate last year and it was so much fun,” he said. “It was one of my, like, top memories since I have played tennis.
“It’s just different as opposed to when you’re on the tour playing by yourself and you win something, it’s just not the same as this. When you win something with all these guys and all your close friends, you get to celebrate it. You get to enjoy it a lot more.
“That’s the biggest takeaway is these team events, you just got to enjoy it more because you never get situations like this where you can all celebrate as a group and enjoy it together. So it’s just so much fun.”
Team World Captain John McEnroe, who relishes the team environment and the chance to get to know the stars of the next generation, says that more team events like Laver Cup, United Cup and Davis Cup are a win for the sport.
“I think that what Taylor said is so apropos,” the seven-time major champion said. “A team event like this I think is not only good for the sport, it’s good for the players in a way that they are able to sort of get together and rally around. Because a lot of tournaments it’s like an unwritten rule, you can’t root for anyone, you’ve just got to worry about yourself.”