NEW TEAMS COMPETITION: Rod Laver (right) and John McEnroe and Roger Federer pose with the Laver Cup trophy.
NEW TEAMS COMPETITION: Rod Laver (right) and John McEnroe and Roger Federer pose with the Laver Cup trophy. ANDY RAIN

Rod Laver honoured with new teams cup

ROGER Federer has temporarily halted his Wimbledon preparations to unveil the newest trophy in tennis - the Rod Laver Cup.

Flanked by John McEnroe and Laver, grand slam record-holder Federer is adamant the Laver Cup - to be played for the first time in Prague from September 22-24 - will be successful.

"Competing for the Laver Cup will be something truly special,” Federer said.

"When you've won a title that the great Rod Laver also won, it's wonderful to know that you've shared in those experiences and that same legacy.

"But the Laver Cup is even more magical.

"It would be a tremendous privilege to lift a trophy that features a real part of Rod's incredible history.

"Both teams in Prague will fight their hearts out to get their hands on it.”

To be captained by Bjorn Borg, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem have been named in the European team.

McEnroe will skipper the Rest of the World team. So far he has chosen Milos Raonic and John Isner.

Nick Kyrgios almost certainly will be selected, form and fitness allowing.

Laver said the hand-crafted trophy had been created from four of the trophies he won in a brilliant career.

There are 200 notches on the rim of the trophy, signifying the number of Laver's career titles as an amateur and professional.

The only player in history to achieve the grand slam singles sweep twice - the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US titles all in the same year - Laver said he was humbled by the trophy.

"When I look at the Laver Cup, I am so proud to have my name on it,” he said.

Federer, chasing an eighth Wimbledon title on Monday and 19th major overall, said: "For me, Rod Laver is the greatest player of all time.

"I'm thrilled that the Rod Laver Cup creates a legacy that future generations can also cherish.”

After the initial staging of the event in Prague, the Laver Cup will move to the US next year and then back to Europe in 2019.

There will be a break in 2020 for Tokyo Olympics.

There is a chance Australia could host the event in 2021.



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