Skipper John McEnroe has welcomed Nick Kyrgios’s inclusion as Team World’s X-factor for the third edition of the Laver Cup.
In-form Kyrgios has joined Wimbledon finalists Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic, fellow mainstay John Isner and young gun Denis Shapovalov in Team World for this year’s annual team’s event in Geneva next month.
Team Europe, captained by McEnroe’s great rival Bjorn Borg, has won the first two Laver Cups and will again be led by living legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Federer has a flawless 10-from-10 singles record in the competition and beat Kyrgios in a thrilling third-set tiebreaker to secure the trophy in the event’s first year in Prague in 2017.
The Laver Cup has been recognised as an official ATP event for the first time in 2019 as two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini join Federer and Nadal in giving Europe a formidable all-top-10 line-up.
McEnroe, though, is confident Kyrgios – who beat Tsitsipas in the Washington final earlier this month, can help lead Team World to an upset win in Switzerland from September 20-22.
“We all know how passionate Nick is about playing for Team World at the Laver Cup, and I’m very happy he’ll be joining us again in Geneva,” McEnroe said.
“Nick’s had some fantastic results recently and he always manages to bring his best game to this event, and he absolutely does whatever he can to support the team, both on and off the court.
“He’s the ultimate team player. Nick, like me and the rest of the team, is extremely motivated to get the win this year.
“We are not going to Geneva just to make up the numbers – we are going there to bring home that magnificent trophy.”
An relative grand slam under-achiever, Kyrgios, a huge American basketball fan, thrives in the team environment.
“I’ve always said that the Laver Cup is my favourite week of the year, and how much it means to me to get around the team and play for something bigger than just myself,” he said.
“We’ve had some heartbreaking losses over the past couple of years and it means the world to me to have the chance to get out there again with the team and try to get the win for Team World.”
Team Europe: Rafael Nadal (world No.2), Roger Federer (3), Dominic Thiem (4), Alexander Zverev (6), Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Fabio Fognini (10).
Team World: Kevin Anderson (14), John Isner (16), Milos Raonic (20), Nick Kyrgios (27), Denis Shapovalov (34), final player to be named.