“Under great pressure.” Will Federer risk inviting Medvedev and Rublev to his tournament?
Fans do not believe that Daniil and Andrey will play in the European team at the Laver Cup. All because of the location and a special occasion.
The legendary Swiss once again gathers 12 top tennis players in one place. The most discussed commercial tournament between tennis players in Europe and the world – Laver Cup – takes the first four years. It was founded by Roger and the marketing company Team8 as a tribute to the great Rod Laver. The tournament barely fits into the calendar of the American series and will be held in September.
But this year, tennis fans of Russian players are not waiting there. World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and MVP of the tournament in 2021 Andrey Rublev are not yet in the application – only two places out of six remain in the European team. The Laver Cup has already made a loud announcement: the Big-4 or Big Four will play in the tournament again for the first time in a long time – and for one team. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray shared almost all TBS finals from 2010 to 2018, the quartet went down in history.
Tennis players at the Laver Cup 2021
Photo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
According to fans, they will be accompanied by one of the young: the Spaniard Carlos Alcaras, the Italian Yannick Sinner, the German Alexander Zverev or the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Why not the Russians? The status of the players and the tournament itself allows it – it is commercial. But there are a number of circumstances.
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The tournament will be held in London for the first time. The location itself for the Russians is like a reminder of the failed Wimbledon for them. The Royal Major did not allow the Belarusians to the tournament either, and as a result, it lost rating points, literally becoming an exhibition one.
Yes, the Laver Cup is a commercial story and is in no way subordinate to the LTA – the UK lawn tennis association. The home of the tournament for three days will be the arena The O2, which hosted the Final in 2009, and not the local tennis courts. But Wimbledon, as well as Queen’s Club, Eastbourne, Nottingham, followed the “advice” of the authorities: the decision to remove tennis players because of citizenship is an initiative of the British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston. It seems that he does not favor the Russians here either – their participation will only break the chain of decisions that are painful for tennis.
And as you know, Roger is the most non-conflicting and reputationally clean player. He simply does not need to defend the interests of the Russians, as the ATP bosses did on Uim – there is an alternative. As the main organizer and manager of the Laver Cup, he does not want to go against the system also because the Russians were temporarily deprived of all team tournaments – the ATP Cup, the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King.
“The Russians will not be allowed to play. Federer will be under tremendous pressure from the ATP and ITF. The ATP Cup and Davis Cup have now disqualified all Russians. Federer would challenge them, the EU and the powerful if he promoted and invited the Russians,” said Twitter user Kollywoodfan.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Another reason is the very reason for this tournament. In four years, he really can become special. The reunion of the quartet is widely associated with Roger’s farewell to the world tour, although the 40-year-old Swiss promised to return at his home tournament in Basel in October, he won it 10 times. In addition, the ratings will be raised by the local star Murray, and Rafa, at 36, no longer rides in tournaments in vain: only systematic and targeted preparation for TBSH due to a foot injury. The appearance of Djokovic can also be justified by this idea, because the Serbian accepted the invitation only once in 2018 and lost both matches that year.
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“It means that Roger stops after this season, it’s hard to imagine. I see no other explanation why he insisted on bringing everyone together, ”says Lesane.
“It looks like a goodbye, unfortunately,” Lucho17 picked up.
“With a crazy Big 4 reunion, but that also means this is potentially the last time she’ll play together,” Stevan doubts.
And, perhaps, the agenda of the British media, as conceived by the organizers, should be devoted exclusively to this touching moment. Otherwise, we know how the local media react harshly to the winners of the tournament – after Wimbledon, Elena Rybakina was tortured with questions about a Russian passport.
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Yes, and Roger himself did not hide that it was time to say goodbye: “I love to win, but if you can no longer compete at a high level, then you should stop. I don’t think I need tennis.”
Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Moreover, he is still healing his left knee after surgery in 2020 and is just starting to train, and he will most likely come to Basel on a protected rating or a wild card – the Swiss, like Serena Williams, fell out of the world ranking. But what does it matter now to the 20-fold!
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