There were countless unforgettable moments from the inaugural Laver Cup that took place in Prague from September 22-24 at the O2 Arena.
The moment Nadal leapt into Federer’s arms to celebrate the Swiss securing Team Europe’s win over Team World has been replayed millions of times around the world. It’s an iconic shot that will forever commemorate the Laver Cup’s first edition. Nick Kyrgios‘ getting emotional and getting consoled by his team-mates also melted our hearts.
One of the most appealing aspects of Laver Cup was the behind-the-scenes footage they provided. Staged or not, this conversation between Nadal, Federer, Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg and vice-captain Thomas Enqvist was gold!
Alexander Zverev was given the tough task of introducing Federer to the stage during the Laver Cup gala. He came up with the perfect anecdote of meeting the Swiss legend when he was just five years old. Federer’s introduction to Nadal was not too shabby either. Must-watch!
The Team World bench were having the time of their life during the competition, adopting celebrations from US college basketball as they supported their team-mates during matches. There was a significantly different vibe on the sidelines for both teams and we must say we thoroughly enjoyed Team World’s shenanigans. The Tennis Channel put this perfect video together to showcase just how wild things got.
This coaching moment between Federer and Zverev gave us a sneak peek of what Coach Roger Federer might actually look like. Suddenly we are all fans of on-court coaching. Kudos to the WTA for introducing it to their tour.
Nick Kyrgios said he wanted to make up for his notorious meltdown last year in Shanghai as he beat Mischa Zverev in the second round of the China Open on Wednesday.
A year ago the supremely talented but combustible Kyrgios was suspended for his petulant behaviour at the Shanghai Masters, where he swore and argued with the crowd and appeared to give away points in caving in to the German.
The enigmatic Australian, seeded eighth on Beijing’s outdoor hard courts this year, smashed his racquet on the floor in anger, bending the head in half, when he conceded the opening set on Wednesday.
That earned the world number 19 a warning from the umpire and raised the spectre of one year ago.
But the 22-year-old returned for the second set with renewed determination and errors began creeping into Zverev’s game.
Zverev, ranked 27 in the world and the older brother of rising star Alexander (Sascha), surrendered his first service game of the second set and Kyrgios was never in trouble after that, surging into the next round 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
During one changeover the Australian appeared so relaxed that he sat back on his chair, arms behind his head, and sang along with a pop hit being played over the stadium loudspeakers.
“Nothing really, just chilling out,” Kyrgios, whose suspect temperament sometimes outdoes his talent, said afterwards when asked about his demeanour during the match.
Nick Kyrgios at changeover 😂🎤 pic.twitter.com/mMfBnGpQuq
— Rena (@_irenka23_) October 4, 2017
Kyrgios said facing Zverev a year after Shanghai, and again in China, was the perfect opportunity to show how far he has come.
“Obviously didn’t have a great one last year, obviously got suspended after that,” he said.
“I just wanted to go out there today and kind of redeem myself a little bit from last year,” he said, adding: “I just wanted to prove to myself how much I have improved.”
Kyrgios, one of the most colourful characters in tennis, added: “I knew it was going to be tough and I got broken early in the first.
“Then I kind of knew I had to loosen up and find my rhythm a little bit.”
The Australian star was unsure how well he’d be up for this Asian swing, having been on the road for many weeks in a row, and following a gruelling stretch that included tournaments in Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati, New York, Davis Cup in Belgium and Laver Cup in Prague.
Speaking to reporters in Prague less than two weeks ago, Kyrgios discussed his outlook ahead of the Asian tournaments.
“It’s a tough one. I obviously haven’t had the greatest memories in Asia, last year I had a terrible end to the season but I don’t know. I’ve been on the road now for a while, I haven’t been home in a long time, it’s draining,” said the Canberra-native.
“But I knew that Davis Cup and Laver Cup, they were always in the back of my mind — obviously with Davis Cup at the top, and I knew that this (Laver Cup) was going to be an exciting event, I was looking forward to it a lot. I don’t know if I can tell you I’m looking forward to Beijing and Shanghai honestly.
“Obviously I’m going to go and play but it’s question marks everywhere there.”
Kyrgios is currently No. 20 in the Race to London rankings, but his position is virtually 16 considering Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori are all out for the rest of the season and are ahead of him in the standings.
Only the top-eight get to feature in the season finale in London and Kyrgios mathematically still has a chance to make it.
The Aussie next faces qualifier Steve Darcis in the Beijing quarter-finals in a rematch of their recent Davis Cup rubber, which Kyrgios won in five sets in Brussels.
If Kyrgios wins Beijing, he could virtually rocket up to be among the top 10 contenders for the ATP World Tour Finals.
Britain’s Dan Evans was hit with a one-year suspension on Tuesday after testing positive for cocaine in April.
Evans, ranked 108th, failed the drug test at the Barcelona Open in April and went public with the result at an emotional press conference in June.
The 27-year-old’s ban has been backdated and he will be eligible to play again on April 24 next year.
“A sample was found to contain cocaine and its metabolite,” a statement from the International Tennis Federation read.
“A decision has been issued under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme that Daniel Evans has committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme. It was agreed that a period of one year’s ineligibility should be imposed, commencing on 24 April 2017.
“The ITF accepted Mr. Evans’ account of how the cocaine got into his system and that he bears no significant fault or negligence for the violation.”
Evans had accepted the ITF’s anti-doping charge, saying in June: “I made a mistake and I must face up to it.”
Cocaine is only banned in competition and Evans insisted he didn’t take it during the tournament.
He said it had got into his system via permitted medication that he had stored in the same pocket of his washbag in which he had previously kept the cocaine.
Evans’ expert, Dr Pascal Kintz, argued the very small amount of the drug present in Evans’ test was consistent with inadvertent contamination.
That explanation, coupled with Evans’ prompt acceptance that he had taken the drug, resulted in a more lenient ban that might have been expected.
“Following the announcement made from the ITF today, I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this difficult period,” said Evans in a statement via his agent, according to Press Association. “I am determined to return to the sport I love and compete at the level I know I can in the not too distant future.”
Martina Hingis received a two-year suspension for a similar offence in 2007, when she failed a drugs test at Wimbledon.
Birmingham-born Evans had enjoyed his best run at a Grand Slam earlier this year when he defeated former US Open champion Marin Cilic en route to the last 16 at the Australian Open.
He also helped Britain win the Davis Cup in 2015 and was ranked a career-high 41 in the world earlier this year.
However, the talented but volatile British number four, who hasn’t played since a Challenger event in Surbiton in June, has struggled to fulfil his potential after several other off-court incidents.
In the past, Evans has had his funding stripped twice by the Lawn Tennis Association for attitude and behaviour problems.
His rebellious tendencies played a major role in his ranking dropping to 772 in April 2015 before his resurgence earlier this year.
* Provided by AFP