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Laver Cup: Lineups, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2023

Laver Cup: Lineups, Dates, History & All You Need To Know

All about the team event taking place this year in Vancouver, Canada

The Laver Cup is a unique annual team competition that sees a host of the ATP Tour’s finest players line up for either Team Europe or Team World. Among those in action this year in Vancouver will be Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the three-day event:

When is the Laver Cup?

The sixth edition of the team event will be held from 22-24 September. The indoor hard-court contest, established in 2017, will take place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. The Laver Cup CEO is Steve Zacks.

Who is playing at the Laver Cup?

Ruud, Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Arthur Fils and Gael Monfils will represent Team Europe, to be captained by Bjorn Borg. Fritz, Auger-Aliassime, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton and Francisco Cerundolo will be at the disposal of Team World captain John McEnroe.

When are the matches at the Laver Cup announced?

Friday’s matches at the Laver Cup will be announced on Thursday afternoon.
Saturday’s matches at the Laver Cup will be announced an hour after play ends on Friday night.
Sunday’s matches at the Laver Cup will be announced an hour after play ends on Saturday night.

What is the schedule for the Laver Cup?

* Day 1 & Day 2: Friday, 22 September & Saturday, 23 September: four matches starting from 1 p.m.
* Day 3: Sunday, 24 September: four matches starting from 12 p.m.
*View On Official Website

What is the format of the Laver Cup?

The Laver Cup will be played over three days, from 22-24 September, across five sessions. Each match win is worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on a high-stakes Sunday. The first team to reach 13 points (out of a possible 24) wins the Laver Cup.

How can I watch the Laver Cup?

TV Schedule

How can I follow the Laver Cup?

Hashtag: #LaverCup
Facebook: Laver Cup
Twitter: @LaverCup
Instagram: @lavercup

Who won the last edition of the Laver Cup in 2022?

Team World won the 2022 Laver Cup  with a 13-8 victory against Team Europe (Read More). It was the first victory for Team World in five editions of the event. For Team Europe, ATP Tour legend Roger Federer played the final match of his professional career on the first evening, lining up on the doubles court alongside his great friend and rival Rafael Nadal (Read More).

Who holds the Laver Cup record for most wins?

Team Europe has won four editions of the Laver Cup (2017-2019, 2021). Team World has won one (2022).

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Kung Fu In Chengdu: Were Dimitrov & Kecmanovic Up For The Challenge?

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2023

Kung Fu In Chengdu: Were Dimitrov & Kecmanovic Up For The Challenge?

Bulgarian and Serbian enjoy Chinese culture before ATP 250

Ahead of the Chinese hard-court swing, Grigor Dimitrov and Miomir Kecmanovic soaked in the country’s rich martial arts culture by trying kung fu.

Dimitrov and Kecmanovic, who are in action this week at the Chengdu Open, watched demonstrations from kung fu masters depicting the various styles of the Chinese art, before learning some of the most iconic stances and testing their wrist strength in a training exercise.

“I’m a big fan of kung fu, but I don’t think I did very well today,” Dimitrov joked. “I think it’s an amazing art and I’m such a huge Jackie Chan fan, so it was nice to experience that a little and hopefully one day I will have the chance to explore more of it. Doing the standing poses was really fun.”

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The cultural activity took place at Feng Qing Lake, which is located near the Sichuan International Tennis Centre, where the ATP 250 event is held. Seventh seed Kecmanovic, who is making his Chengdu debut, enjoyed the challenge.

“I never got to try kung fu before and I see now that it’s actually very difficult and not as easy as they make it look,” Kecmanovic said. “I really enjoyed my time. My favourite was when we tried replicating the poses they showed us. It was quite fun and I hope I get the chance to do more of that.”

<a href=Miomir Kecmanovic (left) and Grigor Dimitrov learn kung fu in Chengdu.” />
Credit: Chengdu Open

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Korda Primed For China Debut, Eyeing Top 20 Finish

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2023

Korda Primed For China Debut, Eyeing Top 20 Finish

American will open against Muller or HIjikata

As Sebastian Korda recuperated from a testing summer in the United States, he watched with interest as Ben Shelton led an American charge at the US Open earlier this month. The 23-year-old Korda, who makes his debut in China this week at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships, said it was inspiring to see his countrymen performing well.

Shelton’s charge ended in the semi-finals against eventual champion Novak Djokovic, while Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz managed to reach the last eight at Flushing Meadows. The results are one thing, but Korda was also impressed with the exciting manner in which the trio played and engaged with massive crowds during a headline-capturing fortnight.

“I think it is really great for American tennis [and] hopefully tennis in general. Hopefully we [are providing good] entertainment in some way,” Korda said.

“I think Ben did a great job at the US Open. He just really showed the world what he’s capable of and what he can do in the near future. And he’s got a great game. [He is] powerful, entertaining [and he] loves to kind of interact with fans as well. I think he’s a great role model for younger kids with the way that he plays. I think it’s awesome. It definitely pushes all of us to do better. And obviously, it shows the way, that it is possible for someone like him, or of any age, to be out there performing like him.”

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Korda is well-positioned to know, for he was the shooting star of American tennis at the start of the year which began in highly encouraging fashion before he was stricken by a wrist injury. After falling to Djokovic in a compelling final in Adelaide, Korda joined Shelton in the Australian Open quarter-finals but was forced to retire against Karen Khachanov, who is the top seed in Zhuhai.

The right-hander returned to the Tour in April and looked to be regaining his best touch leading into the US Open before injuring his ankle in Winston-Salem. There was also a flourish of his best form at The Queen’s Club prior to Wimbledon and despite the injury misfortune, Korda believes he is more than capable of achieving a primary goal for 2023 – to break into the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Having peaked at No. 25 in June, Korda has slipped eight spots but he is confident in making significant inroads over the next three weeks in China. He has spent time practising with Chinese teenager Shang Juncheng in Zhuhai and said the slick hard courts at the Hengqin International Tennis Center are to his liking.

“It hasn’t been easy, for sure. But I enjoy these types of conditions playing here. It is kind of like indoor tennis, [which is] definitely one of my favourites,” he said. “My goal at the start of the year was to finish Top 20, Top 25. That’s still my goal. If I have a couple of good weeks, [I have] a good chance to do it. I have a lot of weeks ahead of me and hopefully I’ll have some good results to finish the year and prepare for next year.”

The American has only been in China for a week, but he feels at ease in Zhuhai.

“It’s actually a very, very beautiful place. [I’m] staying in a great hotel and have a great view of the whole city. It is very easy to be here. [I’m] very relaxed,” he said. “A lot of the players on the Tour said how great the crowds are here, the fans. People love tennis here… so I’m expecting a good week from the fans.”

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Nishioka Excited About Return Of Elite Tennis To China

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2023

Nishioka Excited About Return Of Elite Tennis To China

Japanese star will pursue third ATP Tour title this week

As a diminutive player who concedes height to almost every player he meets, Japanese star Yoshihito Nishioka is a master at thinking laterally to topple the giants of the tennis tour.

The detailed plotting of the 27-year-old, who is the eighth seed for the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships beginning on Wednesday, worked wonders in the first half of the season.

The left-hander, who defends superbly and excels when through changing the tempo and trajectory of rallies, was surging to a Top 20 Pepperstone ATP Ranking breakthrough midway through the year.

“I don’t play with power, so I have to think about how to play my points, and always have to make big plans as to how to beat my opponents before I go on to the court,” he said.

“Sometimes I think my tennis is interesting to watch, because some other players don’t do it like I do. That is the reason some of the bigger players don’t like it, that they start to panic a little bit.

“But that is the way I play. I have to do things differently.”

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Nishioka peaked at a ranking of 24 in June after reaching the second week of the Australian Open and French Open for the first time in what he considered a big step forward in his career.

But the rise in rankings also led to an increase in the expectations Nishioka placed on himself and, as he said in Zhuhai on Monday, resulted in his brain working overtime.

“It is always special when you do well in a Grand Slam and it was my first time in the Round of 16 at the Aussie Open and also at the French Open. It was a great feeling,” he said.

“But that was interesting, because I started to feel more pressure because I had to keep the seeding, keep the ranking. I was thinking too much. I started to feel that pressure.

“That is the reason that, after the French Open, I didn’t do so well on the Tour. That is something I have learned from this rise and I think I had to change (things) a little bit.”

The No. 1-ranked player in the Asian region hit a lean spell after Roland Garros, with his only triumph in six subsequent tournaments coming in the Cincinnati ATP Masters 1000.

“I was very close to the Top 20 but when I thought too much about what it is, then (I put) a little bit too much pressure on myself, (which was) different from normal,” he said.

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Nishioka said he is delighted to be back competing in Asia, where he has recorded his best results on the ATP Tour.

He claimed his maiden ATP Tour title in Shenzhen in 2018 and last year won in Seoul, defeating then-World No. 2 Casper Ruud on the way to the championship.

The Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships marks the return of tennis to China after a hiatus and Nishioka believes the swing through Asia, which includes Tokyo next month, suits him.

He faces a challenging opening round match in Zhuhai against French player Terence Atmane, who last week won an ATP Tour Challenger title in Guangzhou.

But Nishioka is feeling comfortable on the hard courts at the Hengqin International Tennis Center, which hosts the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships beginning on Wednesday, 20 September.

“It is always good to come back for the Asian Swing and it is the first time the ATP Tour events are back in China after COVID, so I really am very excited to be able to play here,” he said.

“I won my first ATP Tour event in China and I have played well here. It is always enjoyable to play in China and to compete in Asia again.”

“If I can play much, much better, that will be great.”

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Moment In Time: Nakashima Reflects On Next Gen ATP Finals Triumph

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2023

Moment In Time: Nakashima Reflects On Next Gen ATP Finals Triumph

American defeated Lehecka in the final

Brandon Nakashima returned to the Next Gen ATP Finals for the second time last November following a semi-final showing in his 2021 debut. His second appearance in Milan ended in glory, with the American winning all five of his matches to claim the 2022 title.

In this edition of ATP Uncovered’s Moment In Time series, Nakashima takes viewers behind the scenes and shares his thinking at various stages throughout the tournament — from his success in the group stage to the tension of the knockout rounds.

Nakashima met Jiri Lehecka twice in four days, having to face the Czech in the final after beating him in straight sets in round-robin play.

“A new experience for me, playing a player two times in the same tournament,” Nakashima said. “I tried not to think about the first match because I knew he was playing great matches as well and had a great semi-final too. So I knew he was going to go into the final with a lot of confidence.”

Nakashima relived the buildup to the title match and explained what was going through his mind during match point.

After lifting the trophy as an undefeated champion, Nakashima celebrated his title with his team. Check out the celebrations and a much closer look behind the scenes in the full feature below.

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Shang: The #NextGenATP Star Ready To Ride Chinese Surge To The Very Top

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2023

Shang: The #NextGenATP Star Ready To Ride Chinese Surge To The Very Top

18-year-old plays first Tour event in homeland this week in Zhuhai

With Chinese men’s tennis already having made groundbreaking strides in 2023, is Shang Juncheng the one to take it into overdrive?

The #NextGenATP talent is ready and willing to build on the achievements of his ATP Tour colleagues Wu Yibing and Zhang Zhizhen, not to mention the host of Hologic WTA Tour stars who have flown the flag over the years for the second most populous country on Earth.

“I think it’s definitely a really cool thing for me,” Shang told last month when asked about the current hype surrounding Chinese men’s tennis. “I think it’s a good pressure to have for me and it’s obviously a lot of motivation for me to push through and do better every day.”

In February, Wu won in Dallas to become the first Chinese ATP Tour titlist in history. In July, Zhang rose to No. 52 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, the highest position ever held by anyone from the East Asian country. Now looking to help the pair establish a Chinese dynasty in the Top 100 is Shang, who reached the second round as a 17-year-old qualifier at January’s Australian Open.

“I think I am the kind of player that deals with pressure pretty well in important moments,” said Shang, who turned 18 in February before rising to a career-high World No. 149 in July. “So I’d say [the hype about Chinese tennis] never really bothered me, other than pushing me through the hard practices and the tough matches.

“Our Chinese fans have an unbelievable energy everywhere. Even in New York [at the US Open], I felt like I was playing at home. So that was just very helpful for me instead of a lot of pressure.”

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In Wu and Zhang, Shang has two experienced mentors to emulate. Despite being a newcomer as their colleague on the ATP Tour, the 18-year-old has memories with both dating back years.

“We actually have the same name,” said Shang of the 26-year-old Zhang. “We’re both Jerry. So I call him Big Jerry, he calls me Little Jerry. I met him maybe when I was nine or 10 years old. I remember him being very friendly to me. He was an upcoming star in China. He was very young, I think it was at the China Open in Beijing and I thought he was super fun. Then a couple of years later, here we are playing together on Tour. So I find that pretty cool.

“With Wu, I don’t remember the first time I met him. I think I was watching him play a junior tournament in China. Everybody knows him as the laser forehand. He’s got probably one of the biggest forehands on Tour and that’s how I remember it watching him.

“I think we got a picture together, right before he was going to play in the China Open. So that was pretty cool to me when I was nine years old.”

Shang’s admiration for the achievements of his elder colleagues has only been heightened by their willingness to help him navigate life on the professional tennis circuit.

“I’m a lot younger than them and for sure they’re more experienced, so I think I can learn from them and then learn from their mistakes, so I wouldn’t make the same mistake,” explained Shang. “I think that’s something big, and they’ve been helping me too on that.”

This week at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships, Shang will compete in his maiden tour-level event in China. Currently 17th in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Jeddah, it represents an opportunity for the 18-year-old to boost his hopes of qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals. For inspiration, Shang may turn to Chinese tennis royalty as he looks to make his mark in front of home fans eager to take in their first ATP Tour action since 2019.

“Definitely Li Na was an inspiration to all the Chinese players that are playing tennis right now,” said Shang of the former WTA World No. 2 and two-time major champion. “Seeing her win Grand Slams was something that we all dream about, and I think it’s very inspiring. Also seeing the players now. A lot of players, they’re doing well, especially on the women’s side, and then we have two guys in the Top 100. That’s definitely a big motivation for me.”

For Shang, childhood memories of Li’s escapades still drive his desire to become the next great success story of Chinese tennis.

“When she started playing professional tennis, I was probably not born yet,” said Shang. “Just watching her play since I was a little kid was so fun, especially seeing someone from my own country play tennis on the biggest stage in the world. I always dreamed that I could do the same thing.”

Shang also credits Zhang Shuai, a three-time WTA singles and 13-time doubles titlist, as an inspiration. She has even offered Shang advice to help him counter some of the big hitters he comes up against on the circuit.

“Obviously, people say women’s and men’s tennis is different, but I see it as all tennis, and I think we should all learn from each other,” said Shang. “It’s important, especially, we speak the same language. So let’s say on the return of serve. Most players, they’re stronger than me right now, like [it is for] Shuai. She says, ‘you just have to use their own power and then use it against them’. And that’s how you succeed with the bigger guys.”

So as he steps out in Zhuhai to compete, will the possibility that he is already inspiring the next big thing in Chinese tennis be in the back of Shang’s mind? Not just yet. The 18-year-old is first focussed on cementing a legacy to match his own tennis heroes.

“I don’t see it that way, because it is my first time playing there, it’s obviously huge for me,” said Shang. “I’ve never played in front of a home crowd. Zhuhai [will be] the first 250 main draw that I’ll play, instead of starting in qualies, so I’m just very excited about that. Hopefully I can inspire some kids, but the main goal is just to play good tennis and focus on myself.”

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