After loss, McEnroe says Laver Cup should get more respect
BOSTON (AP) — John McEnroe wishes the Laver Cup could get more attention and thinks it’s a mistake that the ATP Tour schedules regular tournaments that conflict with the three-day exhibition event.
Captain Bjorn Borg’s Team Europe clinched its fourth consecutive Laver Cup on Sunday by taking an insurmountable 14-1 lead over McEnroe’s Team World.
“This is my personal opinion, but I don’t think there should be any tournaments going on if they want to try to get to the level of a Ryder Cup, say. It’s got to stand on its own,” McEnroe said, referring to a team golf event that also was held this weekend. “It’s not going to be like, ‘Well, other players need to be able to play and ... get their points at the (event) in Kazakhstan or wherever they are right now.’ I just don’t agree with that. I think it’s a mistake by the ATP.”
McEnroe pointed out that Roger Federer — whose management company is the driving force behind the Laver Cup — and Rod Laver — the 11-time Grand Slam champion for whom it’s named — are involved.
“Yet it’s difficult to sort of get, sort of, the respect that I think this deserves,” McEnroe said. “It tears me up.”
Even without any of Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic on the roster this time, Team Europe won eight of the nine matches on a hard court McEnroe complained was too slow inside the arena that hosts the NBA’s Celtics and NHL’s Bruins.
Tokyo Olympics singles champion Alexander Zverev of Germany and mixed doubles gold medalist Andrey Rublev of Russia beat Reilly Opelka of the U.S. and Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-2, 6-7 (4), 10-3 in a match tiebreaker in doubles to open Sunday’s play.
That allowed Team Europe to eclipse the 13 points needed to win the Laver Cup. Match victories were worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday.
Team Europe won the first three Laver Cups in 2017, 2018 and 2019, with Federer and either Nadal or Djokovic participating each year.
Zverev and Rublev were joined on Team Europe in 2021 by U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev of Russia, French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini of Italy and Casper Ruud of Norway. All six are ranked in the top 10.
Team World included Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, John Isner of the U.S. and Nick Kyrgios of Australia. Auger-Aliassime, at No. 11, is the highest-ranked member of the roster.
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