Team World will be hoping for third-time lucky as they take on two-time defending champions Team Europe next weekend at the third annual Laver Cup, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland this year.
With Kevin Anderson withdrawing from the event this week due to a right knee injury that’s sidelined him since Wimbledon, the Team World captain—ATP legend John McEnroe—announced Americans Taylor Fritz and Jack Sock to a packed team that already included John Isner and Milos Raonic, both former Top 10 players; and Nick Kyrgios and Denis Shapovalov, both former Top 20 players.
Isner, Kyrgios and Sock are Laver Cup veterans, all of them playing the two previous editions of the event in Prague in 2017 and Chicago in 2018. Isner has a 3-3 career record at the event, going 1-3 in singles and 2-0 in doubles; while Kyrgios is 3-2 at the event, going 1-2 in singles and 2-0 in doubles.
But Sock has a 5-3 career record at Laver Cup, going 0-2 in singles and 5-1 in doubles—his only loss in doubles came at the hands of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in 2017 alongside Sam Querrey.
“Jack has been our MVP for the past two years and I’m delighted he’ll be joining us in Geneva this year,” McEnroe said of Sock, a former No. 8 in singles who’s been as high as No. 2 in doubles with three Grand Slam titles to his name in the team discipline. “We’ve got to be strategic, Team Europe is going to be tough to beat. For us, doubles has been very important over the past couple of years. We’ve won the great majority of our doubles matches and obviously Jack was a big part of that.”
Team World has gone 3-14 in singles in Laver Cup, but they’re 5-1 in doubles—all with Sock.
Kyrgios, who’s coming off a strong year that saw him win two of the biggest titles of his career—500-level titles in Acapulco and Washington, D.C.—didn’t hide his excitement at playing Laver Cup again.
“I’ve always said that the Laver Cup is my favorite week of the year, and how much it means to me to get around the team and play for something bigger than just myself,” the Australian told ATPTour.com. “At the Laver Cup it’s not just about me, it’s about doing everything I can to help the other guys feel comfortable, prepare for their matches and even give them some energy from the side of the court.
“We’ve had some heartbreaking losses over the past couple of years and it means the world to me to have the chance to get out there again with the team and try to get the win for Team World.”
Shapovalov has played Laver Cup once before, falling to Alexander Zverev in a singles match in Prague in 2017, while Raonic and Fritz will be playing the team competition for the first time.
Raonic was going to play the event in 2017 but had to withdraw due to a left wrist injury.