Tennis news - Laver Cup best moments, featuring Nick Kyrgios, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Team World celebrations
The Laver Cup returns this week as Team World look to get their first victory against Team Europe. Ahead of the event in Boston we look back some of the most memorable Laver Cup moments, featuring Nick Kyrgios, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and more. Watch the Laver Cup from September 22-24, live on Eurosport.
It’s the fourth edition of the Laver Cup this week as Team World face Team Europe in Boston.
The competition has served up plenty of memorable moments since it started in 2017, from epic matches to fascinating interactions between players and wild celebrations.
We look back on some of the highlights of the Laver Cup so far, featuring Nick Kyrgios, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's bromance, Federer and Novak Djokovic playing doubles together, and some very inventive moves…
The overall scoreboard might read 3-0 in Team Europe’s favour, but that doesn’t tell the whole story of the Laver Cup. In 2017 and in 2019 the three-day competition went to the wire.
The inaugural edition of the tournament in Prague saw Team World fight back on day three and give themselves a shot heading into the final match. A win for Kyrgios against Federer would set up a one-set, winner-takes-all doubles decider.
It looked like the Australian would do it, but Federer came from a set down and saved a match point to clinch a 4-6 7-6(6) 11-9 win that secured the first-ever Laver Cup and left Kyrgios in tears.
Nick Kyrgios at the 2017 Laver Cup
Image credit: Getty Images
Two years later in Geneva the trophy was up for grabs again going into the last match of the day after Team Europe battled back from 11-7 down. This time it was Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev sent out for the decider and the German got the win in three sets to the delight of a fervent crowd.
"I've never played in something like that, it was unbelievable," said Zverev afterwards. "It's very special, especially playing in front of those guys and them trusting me to play the last singles game. This event is something I hope to play in every single year of my career."
The final-day drama has helped make the Laver Cup such a great spectacle so far.
As two of the greatest players of all time, it’s no surprise that Federer and Nadal have been the stars of the Laver Cup so far. But not just for their performances on the court.
It has been incredible to see close up how they interact with each other and hear them coaching their team-mates – and each other.
‘Keep the points under five shots!’ - The time Nadal coached Federer at Laver Cup
Team Europe coach Bjorn Bjorg was a bystander at times as Federer and Nadal gave advice and explained how they were seeing matches. Nadal even looked into the in-match stats to try and help Federer get the better of Kyrgios in 2019.
“I really enjoy the clarity in his advice,” said Federer. “What I really enjoy with Rafa is just that we very often align, our ideas align. And obviously when it comes to rally points, he's excellent. You know, he knows how much is enough and how much is too much. He's a great problem and solution-finder.”
'Don't be scared!' - Federer coaches Tsitsipas at Laver Cup 2019
They won’t be in Boston this year, but let’s hope we get another chance to see Federer and Nadal together at the Laver Cup.
Federer v Kyrgios drama
The beauty of the Laver Cup is that it throws up so many good match-ups; none better so far than Federer v Kyrgios.
Their deciding clash in 2017 was an epic way to finish the tournament, and their meeting in 2019 wasn’t far behind in terms of quality and drama.
Federer battled past Kyrgios 6-7(5) 7-5 10-7 in an electric rematch that saw the Australian try to pull off the SABR and Team World captain John McEnroe tell Kyrgios “you’re in his head!”.
Kyrgios says he thinks the 2017 match between the pair “set the tone” for the Laver Cup.
Laver Cup 2021 profiles: Meet Team Europe ahead of title defence in Boston
“That was a match that to this day people talk about to me and it was a monumental match. I feel like that really set the tone for any Laver Cup that goes ahead with or without me or with or without Roger, for many years to come.”
The 2019 match between Federer and Kyrgios was also memorable for the Australian getting distracted by a female fan.
Leading Federer 7-6 2-1, Kyrgios told his team-mates as he returned to the bench: “I lost concentration, I saw a really hot chick in the crowd. Like, I’m being jarringly honest - I’d marry her right now. Right now.”
Not sure we need more distracted Kyrgios in the future, but we would certainly sign off for some more Federer v Kyrgios matches.
Federer and Djokovic play doubles
While the friendship between Federer and Nadal is obvious, it is not always quite so clear how close Djokovic is with his two long-time rivals. Which is why it was entertaining to see him team up with Federer in the doubles in 2018.
The pair looked comfortable playing together for the first time, except for when Djokovic hit his partner in the lower back with a forehand. Djokovic’s face afterwards was a picture as he threw his hands in the air and covered his mouth in shock. But there were smiles from both players and also a quick apology from Djokovic.
“I apologised right away,” said the Serbian. “I got my karma back when [Jack] Sock hit me right in the heart!”
Novak Djokovic et Roger Federer lors de la Laver Cup
Image credit: Getty Images
Even though they lost to Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson, both Federer and Djokovic seemed to enjoy the experience.
“It was great to play with Roger, it was great fun,” said Djokovic. “We talked a lot of strategies on the bench and what was useful for our players. We have always had plenty of respect for each other, now that will be strengthened. But this kind of quality time is like no other.”
Federer added: “To team with someone of Nole’s calibre was a treat. You learn a lot from these matches.”
Team World bench celebrations
Team World may not have won the Laver Cup so far, but they have won the battle for best celebrations.
There was Thanasi Kokkinakis shooting Denis Shapovalov with an imaginary arrow, the whole team –including veterans John Isner and Sam Querrey - doing push-ups, team volleyball spikes, pretending the floor is lava, and starting their own Mexican wave.
Team Europe have been a bit more reserved in their support, but maybe this year things will change.