Tennis: Rafael Nadal joins Team Europe for Laver Cup 2024

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has confirmed his participation in the seventh edition of the Laver Cup, to be held at Uber Arena in Berlin from September 20-22.

Nadal will team up with fellow Spaniard and World No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz, World No.4 Daniil Medvedev, and World No.5 Alexander Zverev as Team Europe eyes to win back the Laver Cup led by captain Bjorn Borg.

Nadal returned to action in the Barcelona Open last week but suffered a second-round straight-set defeat to Alex de Minaur. “I am very happy to be playing Laver Cup in Berlin for Team Europe,” Nadal was quoted as saying on the official website of Laver Cup. “I have some really special memories from my Laver Cup experiences, including all the emotions from London two years ago playing alongside Roger for the last time.”

“At this stage in my career, I really want to go out there and make the most of every opportunity I am given. Teaming up is always an incredible experience and I have always enjoyed it, the competition is different and exciting. I’m looking forward to going to Berlin and helping Team Europe win back the Laver Cup,” he added.

Berlin will be Nadal’s fourth Laver Cup appearance, having competed in Prague in 2017, Geneva in 2019 and then alongside close friend and long-time rival Roger Federer in doubles, for the last match of Federer’s career at London in 2022.

Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg expressed delight over Nadal’s participation as he announced a six-man roster for the final time this year. “Rafa is an absolute legend in our sport, a true champion in every sense of the word,” said Borg. “It’s my last year as Captain. Having him on Team Europe this year was a goal of mine and I’m thrilled he has accepted my invitation and will be with us in Berlin.”

“He loves playing Laver Cup and is one of the greatest competitors the sport has ever seen. The aim is to win back the Laver Cup and having Rafa alongside Carlos, Daniil and Sascha is an unbelievable line-up for us so far.”

Australian No. 1 Alex de Minaur and Americans Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul were named as Team World captain John McEnroe’s initial three additions to the lineup earlier this month. All three were part of Team World’s historic first Laver Cup victory in London. Fritz and Paul were also part of the victorious team last year in Vancouver.

After serving in the capacity since the competition’s inception in Prague in 2017, Borg and McEnroe will go head-to-head for the last time this year as a captain.

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