By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, July 22, 2022
Grand Slam silverware bears the Big 4 fingerprints.
The Big 4 – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – have combined to win 66 of the last 76 Grand Slam titles, won every Wimbledon men’s singles title since 2003 and held No. for 18 consecutive years. years from February 2004 to February 2022.
After: Petition to allow Djokovic to play at the US Open
Now the Big 4 are coming together to create tennis’ ultimate dream team at the Laver Cup in September.
Seven-time Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic has signed for his Laver Cup return. Djokovic will join Big 4 rivals Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray in a dominant European squad that has won all four Laver Cup championships.
Twenty-one-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic said he was delighted to play in the fifth edition of the Laver Cup, which will be held at the O2 in London from September 23-25, 2022.
This will be Djokovic’s first Laver Cup appearance since partnering with Federer in doubles at the 2018 Laver Cup in Chicago.
“I’m really delighted to be joining Team Europe again for the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in London in September,” Djokovic said. “It’s the only competition where you can play in a team environment with guys you normally compete against and join Rafa, Roger and Andy – three of my biggest rivals of all time – it’s going to be a truly unique moment in the history of our sport.
This Team Europe dream team reunites 30 years after an American dream team of Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and John McEnroe joined forces to win the 1992 Davis Cup Championship with a 3- 1 against Switzerland in the final held in Fort Worth, Texas. This American team was so strong that Sampras didn’t even break through the singles roster; instead, he played doubles alongside McEnroe.
McEnroe has played on the American Dream now and will face Team Europe’s Dream Team as Team World captain.
Rival captain Bjorn Borg is quietly confident that Team Europe will extend their reign.
“I don’t think I could have imagined having these four sports icons on one team,” Borg said. “I know they appreciate, like me, the importance of this moment and that they will be really ready. Every year our goal is to win. With Rafa, Roger, Andy and Novak in the team, I like our chances.”
The European team are undefeated in the Laver Cup competition so far, winning Prague 2017, Chicago 2018, Geneva 2019 and Boston 2021.
Two spots have yet to be announced to complete Team Europe’s six-man roster, while McEnroe’s global squad so far consists of Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, American Taylor Fritz and Argentinian Diego Schwartzman.
At the Laver Cup Chicago, Federer shared his thoughts on the secrets to major Big 4 dominance.
“You have to have so many different qualities in your game,” Federer said. “You have to be able to serve well, come back well. You have to have a transition game. You have to be able to finish at the net. You have to be physically strong, mentally strong.
“And I think our three styles of play challenge all of those things. And it can be over a weekend, over a week, whatever. It’s just very difficult, you know, I think a lot of guys break through and made it difficult for us. Then you add someone like Stan into the mix that comes with power or an A team or a Sascha [Zverev] or a Murray obviously who has incredible recovery potential and is also a great champion, and Cilic who can serve amazingly.”
Named after Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the Laver Cup is played on a spectacular black court that will be built within The O2. The three-day team competition pits six of Europe’s best players against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world.
Since its inception six years ago, the Laver Cup has established itself as one of the most prestigious tennis events on the calendar, bringing together world-class tennis and entertainment with premium partners and hospitality offerings for create an unparalleled spectacle for sports fans around the world. .
Tickets went on sale to the general public in early March and sold out widely with only a limited number of tickets remaining. For more player announcements and ticketing, fans are encouraged to register at LaverCup.com.
Photo credit: Christopher Lévy