Can Roger Federer lead Team Europe to a record fifth title in his final professional tournament? Will Team World upset the big four and claim their first title?Inform your predictions with Pinnacle ahead of the 2022 Laver Cup.
Laver Cup: At a Glance
When: September 23 – 25, 2022
Where: The O2, London, United Kingdom
Surface: Hard Court
The Laver Cup is to tennis what the Ryder Cup is to golf. Officially sanctioned as an ATP Tour event in 2019, the lucrative tournament attracts some of the best players in the world. Four tournaments have taken place since 2019 and Team Europe have triumphantly won all four.
Laver Cup: How it works
The concept behind the Laver Cup is simple – six top players from Europe will take on six top players from the rest of the world. Played over three days, the Laver Cup features five sessions consisting of both doubles and singles competition.
This will be Federer's last pro tournament
Every player must compete in at least one singles match within the first two days, but no player is allowed to play singles more than twice during the three days of the tournament. At least four of the six players must compete in a doubles match.
The winning team must reach 13 points with a win on day one worth one point, a win on day two worth two points, and a win on the third day worth three points.
Swedish legend and former world number one Bjorn Borg will captain Team Europe and he will be backed by a star-studded line-up of Europe’s best. This will be the last time we’ll see the Big Four of tennis in a single ATP tour match.
The dominant Serbian has missed quite a few major tournaments this year due to his COVID-19 vaccination stance and will surely be looking to make up for the time off. Despite these setbacks, Djokovic has had a stellar 2022 with a 23-5 win-loss record and a Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon.
Djokovic also competed against Team World star Felix Auger-Aliassime in May at the Italian Open, where he beat the Canadian 7-5, 7-6.
Nadal has claimed four titles this year and has enjoyed the best start to a season of his career. The current world number three won his first 20 matches which include three titles – the Australian Open among them.
Nadal has only suffered five losses this year and has a 100% win record in doubles competition. This year, Nadal also became the first man to win a 21st and 22nd Grand Slam singles title, making him a lethal addition to Team Europe.
The youngest player in Team Europe, Tsitsipas has already been breaking records in his career. He is the first man born in 1998 or later to reach 200 career tour-level victories, has two ATP 1000 titles, and is the highest-ranked Greek player in history – an accolade he shares with Maria Sakkari.
Tsitsipas has extensive experience in this unique tournament as he has been a member of Team Europe in the previous two tournaments and currently has a 60% win rate.
The first Norwegian man to win an ATP singles final, the first to reach a Masters 1000 final, and the very first to reach the top 20 of the ATP rankings, Casper Ruud has amassed plenty of accolades in his young career.
Ruud almost won his first Grand Slam title this year, losing to Carlos Alvarez in the US Open final. Currently ranked at a career-high of two in the ATP rankings, Ruud has won three titles with a 46-16 record in 2022.
Federer will go down in history as arguably the greatest tennis player ever, but currently, he is certainly the greatest Laver Cup player in history. He maintains a 73% winning percentage from 11 matches and holds records for most singles points won, most total points won, and most total matches won.
However, Federer hasn’t played competitive tennis in over 14 months and at 41 years old, the Swiss legend simply doesn’t move like he used too. Federer officially announced his retirement last week and this will be his final ATP tournament.
The latter end of Murray’s career has been plagued by injuries and he has underperformed since 2016 – a year that saw the Brit win the Wimbledon Championship and make it to the final of both the French Open and Australian Open.
Murray has a dismal 2022 record of 22-15
His inclusion in the European side is almost a surprise since he is ranked 48th in the world and has a rather dismal 2022 record of 22-15.
Murray has lost a great portion of his Grand Slam finals to the big European players – chiefly, Federer and Djokovic, so at least this time around, they’ll be on his side.
Captained by two of the most famous siblings in professional tennis, John and Patrick McEnroe, Team World will be led by a plethora of experienced singles and doubles players.
The Canadian enters this tournament on a high following some outstanding Davis Cup performances. He sent Canada into the knockout stages with a stunning straight-sets victory over Miomir Kecmanovic shortly after securing one of his biggest career wins by overcoming world number one Carlos Alcaraz.
Felix then proved his doubles might be defeating Spain 2-1. That tall 6’4 frame could be advantageous against an aging Federer as the Canadian can certainly make a court look small.
The American is the highest ranked player in Team World and is currently enjoying a career-best season. Ranked 12th in the world, Fritz won the ATP Masters at Indian Wells and secured a second title at Eastbourne.
His 36-17 record this year is solid but he only made it to two finals – albeit he won both of those. With 23 of this year’s wins coming on a hard court, Fritz will feel right at home at the O2.
The Argentine has fallen away in recent years since his career-high ranking of number eight in 2020. Schwartzman has failed to secure a single title this year despite making it to two finals in his native South America. Team Europe are unlikely to be worried to much about Schwartzman as he’s got a rather poor 31-21 record in 2022 and has enjoyed most of his success on clay courts.
Alex De Minaur
The young Australian won one title this year, winning in Atlanta, but has amassed six titles in only a few years. At 6’0 and only 69kg, Alex De Minaur will likely lack the power to trouble the big four too much during the Laver Cup 2022.
His record is 39-20 this year but he has seen the most success on hard courts. He’s played the top 10 on nine occasions this year and bested them twice. De Minaur faces far stiffer competition at the 02, though.
Tiafoe is truly a 50/50 player. He’s got a career record of 128-138 – so, on paper, he is just as likely to win as he is to lose. The 2022 season hasn’t fared much better for the American with a record of 26-19 and no title wins. With only one finals appearance and four games against the top 10, Frances Tiafoe hasn’t seen much big-time tennis this year either.
Jack Sock pulled out of an epic battle against fellow Team World teammate Diego Schwartzman with a back injury during the US Open only last month. While still named in the team, there is every chance he may be sidelined. If he does turn up, that back injury will certainly pay him no favours against any of the big four.
Jack Sock is tied with Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev as the best performer in the Laver Cup with eight wins. Sock is also somewhat of a doubles specialist as he has scored the most doubles points with 15.
Laver Cup 2022: Predictions
Team Europe has four players ranked within the ATP top 10 – excluding an unranked Federer – while Team World doesn’t have any. The closest McEnroe’s men get is the 12th-ranked Taylor Fritz. On paper alone, Team Europe look like the easy favourites to win the tournament. However, they might not win every match.
Value may be found in betting against Federer in the singles competition. The star is now retiring with nothing left to prove, has played no professional tennis this year, and while still one of the very best on the court, one of the talented youngsters from Team World may be able to cause an upset.
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