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The Laver Cup is not an exhibition, says Nadal

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 01:00

World number on Rafael Nadal insists all of the players are taking the inaugural Laver Cup seriously and want to win the inaugural tournament.

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SHOWS: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (SEPTEMBER 21, 2017) (TENNIS AUSTRALIA - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE AND TEAM EUROPE PLAYER, RAFAEL NADAL, SAYING: "It's not an exhibition at all. No no, no. I don't think, no, guys?" PLAYERS, REPLYING: "No." "We are here to try your best. I wake up today at 6:40 in the morning to practice and for an exhibition match I don't practice before an exhibition match normally no, so. We are here to try our best. We're here to try to win and not at all like a friendly match. We're here to really play with passion and to play for our continent and we have a great team behind us and we want to do it well for all of them. Let's see if we are able to do it." STORY: Rafael Nadal insisted on Thursday (September 21) that the inaugural Laver Cup was anything but an exhibition tournament. Speaking at the 02 Arena in Prague, which is staging the Laver Cup, Nadal said he has been waking up at 06:40 to train and he would never practice for a friendly match. Nadal along with Roger Federer are the main names for Team Europe against the rest of the world in the first ever Laver Cup tournament which starts on Friday (September 22). Team Europe, featuring the world's top two players, are overwhelming favourites to win the three-day tournament, which is named after Australian great Rod Laver, with a squad boasting a combined 36 grand slam titles against none for Team World. The teams are captained by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, whose own rivalry starting in the 1970s featured a contrast in temperament and style that made their matches the kind of must-watch events that Laver Cup organisers hope to showcase. Conceived by Federer and his sports management company Team8, the tournament is the latest to join a crowded calendar and comes on the heels of the Davis Cup semi-finals last week. Team Europe also includes German Alexander Zverev, Croatia's Marin Cilic, Austrian Dominic Thiem and Czech Tomas Berdych. Team World features Americans Sam Querrey, Jack Sock, John Isner and Frances Tiafoe plus Australia's Nick Krygios and Canadian Denis Shapovalov. With five players inside the world's top 10, the Borg-led European squad is heavily favoured against a world team hit by Argentine Juan Martin del Potro's late withdrawal due to injury. The tournament, which will rotate between Europe and the rest of the world each year, features three singles and one doubles match each day. A win is worth one point on Friday, two on Saturday (September 23) and three on Sunday (September 24). In a bid to keep the pace humming, the indoor hard court matches at Prague's O2 Arena will be best-of-three sets with a 10-point tiebreak deciding the final set. With no player featuring in singles more than twice during the first two days, Nadal and Federer could see themselves on the same side of the net in a mouthwatering doubles pairing.

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The Laver Cup is not an exhibition, says Nadal

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 01:00