The fifth edition of the Laver Cup will take place from 23-25 September in London. Team World will try to beat the great team of Europe for the first time, and their captain John McEnroe has gathered the first players for the blue team.
Among them is Felix Auger-Aliassime, returning to the Laver Cup for the second year in a row. McEnroe praised the young Canadian as one of the best young defenders on the tour. John mentioned Felix’s ATP Finals and the fact that he pushed Rafael Nadal to the limit at the last Roland Garros.
In one of Nadal’s five players in Paris, Nadal won 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in four hours and 21 minutes to book a place in the quarter-finals.
John McEnroe praised Felix Auger-Aliassime’s efforts against Rafael Nadal.
Rafa could have beaten Felix earlier had he converted more break chances, making 22 and only taking six.
The Canadian took five breaks to remain competitive and became the fourth player to keep Nadal on the court at Roland Garros for more than four hours. Felix also joined Robin Soderling, John Isner and Novak Djokovic in the list of players to take two sets from Rafa at Roland Garros.
Despite the big effort, the Canadian ran out of gas in the deciding set to push the 13-time champion to qualify. Rafa had 17 more points than Felix and outperformed him in the mid-range and most extended exchanges. Nadal played at a high level in the second and third sets to get past the slow start and improve his chances.
They served well in the opening six games of the playoff, and the Spaniard has remained in love with opening a 4-3 gap. Rafa grabbed the decisive break in the next match and closed the deal with a winning forehand in the ninth game that propelled him to the quarter-finals.
“Felix has had an outstanding season and is one of the pioneering young players of the new generation. He has reached several finals at the Tour level and has the talent to challenge big champions like Rafael Nadal, whom he barely beat at Roland this year Garros in five sets.
“Last year’s Laver Cup match against Matteo Berrettini was one of the most challenging and competitive matches we’ve seen at the event,” said John McEnroe.