Chicago Selected To Host '18 Laver Cup; Inaugural Tourney In Prague Receives Praise
The inaugural Laver Cup wrapped up yesterday in Prague, and Chicago will host the '18 event, marking a "significant coup for a city that rarely has occasion to stage major events that draw the sport's top athletes," according to Dawn Rhodes of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The event will be held at the United Center from Sept. 21-23 (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/25).
TENNIS, ANYONE? In London, Stuart Fraser writes though there was no prize money or ranking points at stake in the debut of the Laver Cup, there was "undeniably the sense" that this had "more meaning to it than your average hit-and-giggle." Rafael Nadal said of the tournament, "It is not an exhibition at all. We are here to try our best" (LONDON TIMES, 9/25). REUTERS' Hovet & Kahn wrote with a "sold-out stadium, compelling matches and a doubles pairing of the world's top two players, organizers of the inaugural Laver Cup got what they wanted in the three-day event." A series of "hard-fought games helped create a competitive atmosphere." Laver Cup organizers signed Rolex, JPMorgan and Mercedes-Benz as "key sponsors" (REUTERS, 9/24). In N.Y., Christopher Clarey writes the Laver Cup is "technically an exhibition, even if it hardly felt like one." The sport can not ignore what "transpired in Prague in an O2 Arena that was sold out for all five sessions, drawing 83,273 fans over the event’s three days." John McEnroe said, "You’ve got to be an idiot if you don’t think this is something that could be great for tennis. I can’t imagine there’s a player that played -- or didn’t play, for that matter, and watched it -- who wouldn’t think this is something we should be supporting." Clarey notes Tennis Australia and the USTA were on board as "investors and partners." But the ATP Tour and the ITF, which runs the Davis Cup, "were not." Clarey notes the Laver Cup "certainly had more global reach this week than low-level ATP Events." Clarey: "Still, we will only know whether this competition really has legs when it tries to to thrive without Federer and Nadal near the peaks of their power" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/25).