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Volume 26 No. 85
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Laver Cup Making Its Mark With Signature Black Playing Surface

The playing surface was tested three times to see how the color and surface would hold up
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The playing surface was tested three times to see how the color and surface would hold up
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The playing surface was tested three times to see how the color and surface would hold up
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The third iteration of the Laver Cup begins tomorrow in Geneva, and the tournament will continue to use its "signature black courts" that organizers believe help the event stand out, according to John Clarke of the N.Y. TIMES. Laver Cup organizers said that they "tested all shades of black to produce the darkest black with the highest impact that is immediately identifiable to fans." Laver Cup Managing Dir Steve Zacks said, "It’s unlike anything our fans have experienced before. It’s innovative and new, while respecting the traditions of tennis." The surface was "tested three times to see how the color and surface held up under lights and rigorous play." Zacks said, "We needed a color that stood apart. The U.S. Open is blue, the French Open has the red clay, Wimbledon is green and purple, and the Australian Open is blue and white. Nobody was black." Roger Federer, who helped found the event, in an email said, "The black court is the centerpiece of a really cool, contemporary look over all that is such a big part of how people identify with the Laver Cup. The whole arena is dramatic, with the lighting, the screens around the court, the team colors and benches." Officials said that the color -- called Laver Cup Black -- was "exclusive to the tournament." However, the Laver Cup, now an ATP-sanctioned event, may have "started a trend." The ATP New York Open last year "borrowed the idea for its new tournament (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19).

ON THE RISE: SI.com's Jon Wertheim wrote the Laver Cup in a "brief amount of time" has become "one of the most anticipated events on the calendar" after the Grand Slams. The event organizers "strenuously object to any suggestion that this an exhibition." The players have "internalized this message" and fans are "left with honest competition" (SI.com, 9/18).