Tennis to introduce Ryder Cup-style event

Paire into the Winston Salem Open semi-finals

A Ryder Cup-style event will be introduced to the tennis calendar in 2017, it was confirmed on Friday.

The Laver Cup, named after Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, is a three-day event which will pit Europe’s best players against competitors from the rest of the world.

Its inception was announced by Tennis Australia and Brazilian businessman Jorge Paulo, as well as TEAM8, the management company that represents Roger Federer.

“This came about a couple years ago,” said Tony Godsick, president and CEO of Team8.

“We’ve been talking about doing something with Rod Laver to honour his legacy. We’ve come up with a format and platform that we think will do the sport great and is really exciting.”

Whilst the annual event will start next year, no date or firm destination has been set as of yet.

Each team will consist of six players, with a legend from each area serving as captain. Four of the players will be selected based on their recent results, and it is expected that three singles and one doubles match will be played per day.

Laver, who is the only player to win the calendar year Grand Slam on two occasions, doing so in 1962 and 1969, added that the event won’t take the place of the Davis Cup.

“I think if you’re in the Davis Cup format, you’re sort of country to country,” Laver said.

“It’s always been that way. This is just purely Europe against the rest of the world. Hopefully the top players will want to participate.

“It’s a learning curve of trying to get the right scheduling and the right amount of play with all of different players around the world.”

Whilst the players will be offered some healthy incentives to participate, no ranking points will be awarded for the Laver Cup.

“There’s going to be substantial prize money,” said Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley.

“You’ve seen what’s happened with the Ryder Cup and where it is today. We believe it’s going to become a stop on the calendar that’s a must-do for the players and the fans.”

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