Sport24.co.za | Anderson joins Team World line-up at Laver Cup

Cape Town – Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson, world No 8 John Isner, and Argentine young gun Diego Schwartzman will join Team World at the Laver Cup in Chicago in September.

According to the Laver Cup’s official website, the three top-15 players will join world No 4 Juan Martin del Potro and Australian 18th-ranked Nick Kyrgios, who was captain John McEnroe’s first ‘captain’s pick’ for the team.

One more player, McEnroe’s final captain’s pick, will be named for Team World prior to the US Open.

“I’m very excited to have the Wimbledon finalist Kevin (Anderson) and semi-finalist John (Isner) joining Team World for the Laver Cup in Chicago,” captain John McEnroe said.

“Along with Juan Martin del Potro and Nick (Kyrgios) I think we could be looking at perhaps the world’s tallest and biggest-serving tennis team.

“Both Kevin and John have big games and they’ll add massive firepower to our team. It was incredible to watch them as rivals battle it out on Centre Court at Wimbledon in that marathon semi-final match, with neither of them prepared to concede a point. And in Chicago, at Laver Cup, we’ll see them come together as team-mates.

“And then we add in the grittiness, determination and agility of Diego Schwartzman, whose consistency at the highest level has been impressive over the past 18 months.

“This is a tremendous team and with one more player still to be selected, I’d say Team World is in great shape, looking pretty well-rounded and convincing, and more than capable of taking on Team Europe. I have a feeling this will be our year.”

This year has been a revelation for Anderson, the epitome of a player who has been a total professional for his entire career and is now reaping the rewards of consistent hard work.

Anderson may have lost to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, but his defeat of Roger Federer on his favourite surface, and gritty win over Isner in the marathon semi-final, saw him hit a career-high ranking of world No 5 and win many new fans.

Anderson is looking forward to ‘coming home’ to Chicago for the Laver Cup, having spent three seasons playing college tennis at the University of Illinois, where he was a three-time All-American in singles and two-time All-American in doubles.

“I’m incredibly excited about playing the Laver Cup in Chicago this year, and to be playing with such a high quality group of guys in just the second event is really a huge honour for me,” Anderson said.

“I watched the event last year and thought it was wonderful and I can’t wait to join our captain, John McEnroe, who  is a legend of the game of tennis, and the rest of our team – it’s an amazing opportunity.

“It will be great to have John Isner on my side as a team-mate instead of having to face him on the other side of the net. Our very long Wimbledon semi-final was definitely memorable, but it’s not an experience I’m keen to repeat anytime soon!”

Team Europe won the inaugural Laver Cup 15-9 in Prague last year, in a thrilling decider where Roger Federer saved a match point to defeat Kyrgios and hoist the trophy.

Team World will be keen to avenge the loss and make the most of their home-ground advantage at the United Centre in Chicago from September 21-23.

Tournament facts:

– The Laver Cup is a three-day tournament pitting a team of six of the best tennis players from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world

– Björn Borg is captain of Team Europe and John McEnroe is captain of Team World

– Thomas Enqvist and Patrick McEnroe are vice-captains of Team Europe and Team World, respectively- Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have been named for Team Europe, with further player announcements expected in the coming weeks

– The tournament is named in honour of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the only man to win two calendar-year Grand Slams, and one of the greatest players of all time

– The unique format of the tournament showcases tennis superstars competing on the same team, playing singles, pairing up in doubles and cheering each other on

– The inaugural Laver Cup was held at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic, from September 22-24, 2017, with Team Europe defeating Team World 15-9

– The location will rotate between major cities in Europe and the rest of the world each year

– The 2018 edition of the Laver Cup will take place at the United Centre in Chicago, United States, from September 21-23, 2018

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