Roger Federer Confident of Laver Cup Quality Despite Late

The Laver Cup may not have the star power of its previous releases, without a Grand Slam or world champion on the Rogers Arena court, but tournament co-founder Roger Federer is confident that there will be high-quality tennis in Vancouver.

Last year, Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal represented the European team.

“It was always going to be difficult, especially with my retirement,” Federer said of the participation of the other three players in this year’s tournament. “Rafa hurt, Novak, who is taking a break, I obviously understood it completely. Murray may not be coming back, that’s understandable. Look, that’s what it is, I still think it’s going to be a great weekend.”

This year’s team was hampered by failures, with Holger Rune, world number 4, and Stefanos Tsitsipa, world number 5, resigning due to surgery or health issue.

“The greatest players are always there,” Federer said. “Of course, everyone was invited to play and we want the best to play, but that was not possible with schedules and all that. I was also a badass when it came to planning. I was very strict about the tournaments I could play.”

The world team consists of Americans Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz, as well as Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and Argentine Francisco Cerundolo, and has five players in the top 20 in the world.

In comparison, the European team has three-Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz.

“I still think that tennis will be exceptional. We always speak of an absolutely high level. It’s a real shame that the players had to withdraw, but I think the ones that are coming are exciting,” Federer said.

The three-day event, which takes place from Friday to Sunday, is in its sixth year. Team World will try to defend its title for the first time, with Europe winning four of the five previous tournaments.

The tournament changes the venue every year with the aim of presenting the best tennis from all over the world.

However, Federer admits that the change of location could have disadvantages.

“It’s obviously easier (to develop the tournament) if it were in Vancouver every year. It gets a little trickier when jumping and I think the question arises by itself: “Is it easier to be in Vancouver for three years one day than to be in another place or destination for three years?”‘

“I don’t know, because it would be easier to build something more concrete over a certain period of time, but I think the Laver Cup has worked wonders.”

However, the former winner of 20 Grand Slam titles and the world No. 1 said that the event could have a lasting impact on young or aspiring tennis players.

“There is a weight that this event can carry,” Federer said. “Through events like this, they also create memories for children and parents.”

Watching these games can entice kids to grab a tennis racket or get more involved in the sport, he added.

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