“Emma Raducanu in Team Europe, Leylah Fernandez in Team World”: Former Wimbledon Champion Makes Unique Proposal for Laver Cup

Published 09/28/2021, 6:30 PM EDT
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 22: Roger Federer of Team Europe poses with Rod Laver and the trophy after winning the Laver Cup during Day Three of the Laver Cup 2019 at Palexpo on September 22, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Laver Cup will see six players from the rest of the World competing against their counterparts from Europe. Team World is captained by John McEnroe and Team Europe is captained by Bjorn Borg. The tournament runs from September 20-22. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup)


When the Laver Cup started in 2017, there was a lot of talk amongst fans about its placement in the ever-so-busy tennis calendar and why it wasn’t entirely necessary to have a team event in tennis at that moment. But Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick believed in the mission and went ahead with the inaugural event in Prague.

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With big names like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios, John Isner, etc., the tournament received an overwhelming response from fans and became an event to look forward to in the years to come.

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However, after the conclusion of its fourth edition a couple of days ago, there were several proposals from former players and fans regarding the need to make the event more competitive to create broad engagement.

This year, fans didn’t even get to see all four matches scheduled for day 3 in Boston. Team Europe thrashed Team World in the first doubles match itself and clinched the title. This was Europe’s fourth consecutive win in the tournament.

Sep 26, 2021; Boston, MA, USA; Team Europe with the Laver Cup. Standing: Thomas Enqvist, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud. Front row: Feliciano Lopez, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

Watch this story: Alexander Zverev, John McEnroe, and Other Top Tennis Stars Fun Moments at Laver Cup 2021

Marion Bartoli feels mixed-doubles could play a huge role in the future success of Laver Cup

The match tie-breaker instead of a third set does make proceedings easier for players. However, there can be multiple ways to tweak the structure of the tournament going forward.

Former Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli was one of the many people who proposed the need to bring in women’s players into the Laver Cup so that mixed-doubles could become a part of the tournament.

I think it would be nice to be a mixed event, especially now when you have, for example, Leylah [Fernandez], playing for the rest of the world and Emma [Raducanu] playing for Europe. I think it would be so interesting to see some mixed doubles. Even singles, obviously,” explained Bartoli.

“You can absolutely incorporate the women”- Bartoli

The French player also gave a possible mixed-doubles matchup that will entice tennis fans all over the world.

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Let’s say a mixed-doubles between Emma and Novak against Fernandez and Auger-Aliassime, for example. That would have been something a lot of people would pay for. So, I think you can absolutely incorporate the women and make it still a great event for years to come,” the former champion said.

Sep 26, 2021; Boston, MA, USA; Rod Laver presenting the Cup to Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev. Team Europe beat Team World 14-1 at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

It is indeed a great proposition to have players from the WTA participate in the Laver Cup. The players will provide many exciting matches for fans to drool over. Also, the problem with the current setup is that there are too many top players from Europe in comparison with Team World. This is another aspect where the presence of WTA players would help as the star-power is much more evenly spread across the world in the women’s game.

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While there is abundant talent in McEnroe’s team, the exhibition event will benefit a lot if the organizers could come up with new solutions and make it more competitive so that the fans won’t lose interest in the event.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

487 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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