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 organizers hope to showcase. The tournament has been named in honor of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver.
Some of the biggest players in the world are heading to the Czech capital's O2 Arena. Whereas golf's Ryder Cup features Europe going up against the United States, tennis' version pits the Europeans versus the rest of the world. On Friday and Saturday, there will be a day and night session followed by a final single day session on Sunday.
In a format that seems intriguing if a touch convoluted, nine singles and three doubles matches will be played over the course of a weekend.
The iconic rivals are Olympic gold medal doubles champions, who have faced off in singles 37 times and long discussed sharing the court as doubles partners. If sets are split, the third will be decided by a 10-point tiebreaker.
"I would love to play with Rafa and see that forehand do damage on the other side", said Federer, this year's Australian Open and Wimbledon champion. At least four of the six men on each team must play doubles and no doubles combination can take the court together a couple of times. A victory on a Friday is worth one point for a team, a win on a Saturday being worth two, and defeating an opponent on a Sunday is worth three points to a team. The winning side must reach 13 points out of an available 24.
Should the match be level at 12-12 once the action is complete, a doubles contest will decide the overall winners. Team World might as well be Team North America plus Nick Kyrgios.
Federer and Nadal will play doubles together for Team Europe on either Saturday or Sunday.
Nadal then ended his year in October as he sought to recover from a wrist problem, but the two modern greats of the sport returned strongly in 2017. "But it's super impressive and I'm very happy for him". "When you make somebody wait, they appreciate it more, so that's why he's so excited". "We're definitely underdogs, going into it, but I think we've got the weapons and we can definitely win this competition. I hope we didn't wait too long, because we're too old now".
Nadal delightfully responded, saying: "Good things wait".