Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s Laver Cup opponents confirmed as top-20 trio unveiled

28-year-old Laura Robson announces retirement from tennis

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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have found out who they will face in the 2022 edition of the Laver Cup, with a trio of the world’s best players making the cut. The Laver Cup, which has established itself as the tennis equivalent to golf’s Ryder Cup, will be held at The O2 Arena in London from September 23-25 2022.

Canadian superstar Felix Auger-Aliassime will be joined by American No. 1 Taylor Fritz and Diego Schwartzman in John McEnroe’s Team World to face Team Europe. Auger-Aliassime broke into the world’s top 10 in January after winning his first ATP singles title on the indoor hard court of Rotterdam, defeating former World No. 1 Andy Murray along with Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas to do so. 

The World No. 9 has been selected to McEnroe’s team for his efforts, and the American showered him with praise amid the announcement. McEnroe said: “Felix has had a stand-out season and is one of the leading younger players of the new generation. 

“He has reached many tour-level finals and has the talent to challenge Grand Slam champions like Rafael Nadal, who he narrowly lost to in five sets at Roland Garros this year. His match at the Laver Cup last year against Matteo Berrettini was one of the most hard fought and competitive matches that we have seen at the Laver Cup.”

Auger-Aliassime made his debut in the Laver Cup in 2021, defeating his friend Matteo Berrettini in the longest match in the four-year history of the Laver Cup. Their battle lasted two hours and 52 minutes and culminated with a super tiebreak – dubbed the ‘Laver Breaker’ – that was won by the Canadian 10-8. 

“I’m excited to be returning for Team World,” Auger-Aliassime said. “Boston was a great first experience of Laver Cup and the atmosphere was very special. 

“One year on, I feel confident that I can win points for Team World this time around.”

Fritz is returning for his second Laver Cup too after he impressed at the 2019 Geneva tournament. The current World No. 14 defeated then-world No. 5 Dominic Thiem in a thrilling Day 3 clash that almost gave Team World its maiden Laver Cup title.

“It was one of the biggest wins of my career,” said Fritz, who captured his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells this year, upsetting Nadal in the final. “I thrive in a team environment and Laver Cup really brings out the best in me.”

Schwartzman is returning for his third Laver Cup, after he previously represented the team at Chicago in 2018 and Boston last year, where he pushed both David Goffin and Russian star Rublev respectively to thrilling 11-9 match tiebreaker defeats. The World No. 16 has impressed throughout the 2022 season, reaching finals at Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

The Argentine also linked up with former Team World teammate John Isner in doubles as the pair made the Rome Masters final. Schwartzman said: “I have great memories of playing Laver Cup and forming such strong bonds with my teammates. 

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“I can’t wait to take part this year at The O2, the atmosphere will be out of this world.”

Team World captain McEnroe believes the first three players each earned their spots at the Laver Cup, claiming they each have the talent and experience to disrupt their quality-laden European rivals. The 63-year-old added: “These are tough competitors each with a track record now of beating the best and winning titles at the highest level.

 “They also understand Laver Cup competition and how matches can swing so easily. We have been extremely close to pulling off a Team World victory in four attempts and will have an excellent chance with Felix, Taylor and Diego on the team.”

McEnroe and his Team World will look to finally upset Team Europe in the Laver Cup as they have been champions at Prague in 2017, Chicago in 2018, Geneva in 2019 and Boston in 2021. 

Under Laver Cup rules, the top three-ranked players from Europe and the world on the qualification date (June 6) are invited to compete on the six-man teams while the remaining three are captains’ picks. Nadal and Federer have been confirmed for Team Europe and more player announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

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