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Team World hosts Team Europe in Vancouver as the Laver Cup continues its courtship with Tradition.

The sixth edition of the Laver Cup will take place in Vancouver, Canada over three days, September 22-24.

This will be the first time the competition occurs with a retired Roger Federer. Founded by Federer in 2017, he has played in every previous edition except 2021 when he was injured.

Courting Tradition

The Laver Cup was formed in the vision of golf’s Ryder Cup, which pits the United States against Europe in a multi-day team competition.

The Ryder Cup is drenched with tradition as it nears its 100th anniversary in 2027. Every two years, it is a mark-your-calendar event, weighty enough to draw attention beyond the golf world.

That is the long-term goal for tennis’s Laver Cup: Tradition with a capital T.

Tradition cannot be summoned, conjured, declared, or demanded. It can only be earned.

The Ryder Cup has 100 years of black and white photos, grainy videos and 4K videos, knickerbockers and cardigans, fist pumps, flag waves, clutch putts, trophies changing hands, marquee names, painful collapses, inconceivable comebacks, trash talking, handshakes and champagne celebrations.

That is the formula. Time, repetition, star power and impactful moments captured on film, in memory, and in people’s hearts.

Tennis can get there with the Laver Cup. In fact, it will as long as continues unabated.

The annual format works to their advantage, compared to the biannual Ryder Cup. More touchpoints will accelerate growth.

Laver Cup still has a problem getting the best players in the world to compete every year. While the Big Four have all played, they did not play every year. Carlos Alcaraz still hasn’t played. Holger Rune and Stefanos Tsitsipas both pulled out this year citing injuries. Team World has yet to compete with a bonafide superstar the likes of anyone Team Europe has been able to trot out.

Previous generations of Team World could have included the likes of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Lleyton Hewitt, and Guga Kuerten. But that’s how history works. It isn’t retroactive.

When we think of history, tradition, and legacy in tennis, we think of Wimbledon. The Laver Cup cannot catch up with Wimbledon on the scales of time, but it has a secret weapon that Wimbledon doesn’t have: teammates.

And that will be the Laver Cup’s differentiator over time.

The longstanding Davis Cup has the team factor, but the format has too many disadvantages: a season-long calendar that kills attention span, diluted talent spread across too many countries, confusing mechanics, and again, a lack of consistent star power.

The Laver Cup solves those problems by compressing it into one weekend and two teams. No other format can pair the best players in the world on the same team and even on the doubles court.

Moments that Matter

Last year the Laver Cup had its first truly indelible moment—Roger Federer’s tearful goodbye.

Tennis doesn’t always grab the headlines, but Roger Federer moves the needle. When he announced his final professional match would be on the first night of the Laver Cup, playing doubles with long-time rival Rafael Nadal, it became appointment television. For anyone with the right cable TV package, that is.

One of the things the Laver Cup will need to solve in the future is visibility. It still isn’t broadcast on any major networks, so it can’t even reach the eyeballs of many fans who want to watch it, let alone casual channel flippers who may stumble on it and watch out of curiosity.

Still, Federer’s farewell seized the zeitgeist. His biggest rivals joined him as teammates and the lovefest moved everyone who appreciates sport. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Roger Federer defined tennis for the last twenty years, collectively known as the Big Four responsible for tennis’s Golden Era.

Federer’s departure was the first of what will be four moving retirements, with Federer leading the way as usual, just as he did in their competitive years. The way it ended, with tears and hugs, family and friends, music, and camaraderie among rivals, was a fitting tribute to what they created.

And the moment will forever be emblazoned with the Laver Cup atmosphere. The black court, the arena bathed in red and blue lights, and international rivals gathered as teammates, playing for and with each other rather than against.

The second shot in the arm that the Laver Cup desperately needed came two days later, when Team World defeated Team Europe for the first time, a much-needed win that finally injected some sense of back-and-forth rivalry into the event. When one side dominates, it sucks all the tension and fire out.

Team World is on the board now, giving the competition more gravitas. They still need to reel off a couple more wins to bring this thing back into balance. Team Europe is miffed that they lost one. Team World wants to defend its title and gain more ground. Now they have something to lose.

Team Europe 2023

L-R: Gael Monfils, Arthur Fils, Casper Ruud, Bjorn Borg (C), Thomas Enqvist (VC), Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz (Photo Credit:

Team Europe aims to rebound from last year’s loss with a scrappy group of fresh faces. Only Ruud and Rublev have previous Laver Cup experience, so expect them to carry the load while the others take their first bites, especially on Day 3 when the trophy is in play.

Monfils is a great addition. Look for him to emerge as the team leader this year. He’s easily the most veteran player on the team, but more than that he’ll be the energy guy. This event is tailor-made for his natural instincts to entertain, compete hard, and keep things light-hearted at the same time.

There are no world-beaters on this team, but that hasn’t seemed to matter in the past. Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic all dropped plenty of matches in this event, despite being the best players of all time.

Chalk that up to the team format. Something about the team aspect nullifies individual greatness. Energies shift when you are playing for teammates and not just yourself. For you and your opponents.

Ryder Cup has seen plenty of that, too. So many unheralded golfers over the years have risen to immortality in the Ryder Cup. Ian Poulter in particular.

It might also be a boon to Team Europe to not have any of the Big Four on the squad. Their presence is so big that it creates a bit of a shadow over everyone. The only prior year that none of them competed was 2021, and Europe won 14-1 that year. Team dynamics matter.

Team World 2023

L-R: Milos Raonic, Ben Shelton, Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, John McEnroe (C), Patrick McEnroe (VC), Francisco Cerundolo, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Taylor Fritz, Christopher Eubanks (Photo Credit:

This would be a great time for Team World to establish some momentum.

They won last year, but trail 4-1 all-time. Only one of the previous contests was a blowout, so it isn’t like they haven’t been close. They had chances to win each of the other three.

The matchup is pretty even this year, and homecourt advantage should give them a lift.

Christopher Eubanks is probably the most extroverted person on the team, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him be the MVP even if he never plays as an alternate. His cheerleading alone might be able to rapidly mold this group into a cohesive unit, which should already be tight given that five of the eight members are American and already know each other well.

Fritz, Tiafoe, Auger-Aliassime, and Roanic all bring prior experience with them, and they’ll need to use that to help guide their teammates through the three-day event.


The players skew young this year, but there are four notable legends in attendance.

Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe return as captains for the sixth consecutive year, so far the only two men to fill those roles.

Roger Federer is the biggest draw, but only as an ambassador this year. As the event’s founder, he dedicates all of his time to promotional activities such as meet-and-greets, hitting sessions with local kids, sponsor activations, press duties and the like.

And of course, you have the Cup’s namesake, Rocket Rod Laver, who thankfully is still able to make it to these events in person.

Time marches on, and in the case of the Laver Cup, time is its best friend.