Laver Cup, l'Europa parte (stra)favorita-

© Fornito da Quotidiano.Net
© Fornito da Quotidiano.Net

Tutto pronto per la Laver Cup, torneo di tennis a squadre che si disputerà dal 24 al 26 settembre al TD Garden di Boston. Si tratta della quarta edizione del torneo, che torna in programma dopo lo stop del 2020, quando negli Stati Uniti la possibilità di svolgere manifestazioni sportive con il pubblico era fortemente limitata e lo spostamento a fine settembre del Roland Garros aveva reso la disputa della Laver Cup pressoché impossibile.

I capitani del Team Europa e del Team Resto del Mondo, rispettivamente Bjorn Borg e John McEnroe, hanno diramato i convocati, e a giudicare dai nomi non dovrebbe esserci letteralmente partita, con l’Europa super favorita anche nelle quote dei bookmakers. Tutti i giocatori europei, infatti, rientrano nella top 10 della classifica ATP, a cominciare da Daniil Medvedev, numero 2 al mondo e fresco vincitore dello US Open, dove ha battuto in finale Novak Djokovic, negando al serbo la consacrazione della sua straordinaria carriera con il secondo Grande Slam dell’era Open.

Anche gli altri convocati da Borg e dal vice-capitano Thomas Enqvist sono “pezzi da 90”: tra Stefanos Tsitsipas (numero 3 al mondo), Alexander Zverev (numero 4), Andrey Rublev (numero 5) e il nostro Matteo Berrettini (numero 7), c’è solo l’imbarazzo della scelta. Completa il sestetto il norvegese Casper Ruud, numero 10 del ranking ATP e probabilmente, ad oggi, l’unico anello un po’ più debole di una catena altrimenti più che solida.

John McEnroe e suo fratello Patrick (meno talentuoso come giocatore, ma conosciuto soprattutto come ex capitano di Coppa Davis e telecronista televisivo negli USA), si affideranno a un roster composto dai canadesi Félix Auger-Aliassime (numero 11 ATP) e Denis Shapovalov (numero 12), l’argentino Diego Schwartzman (numero 15), gli statunitensi Reilly Opelka (numero 19) e John Isner (numero 22) e infine l’australiano Nick Kyrgios, che anche se sceso al n. 95 della classifica mondiale può comunque esprimere un tennis in grado di mettere in difficoltà chiunque. Kyrgios è infatti uno dei maggiori sostenitori della Laver Cup, da lui definita “la settimana più importante dell’anno”, e delle gare a squadre in generale, nelle quali riesce a trovare grandi motivazioni.

Si tratta della prima edizione della manifestazione, finora vinta sempre dal Team Europa, che non vedrà impegnato nessuno dei Big 3, ovvero Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer e Rafael Nadal. Fa soprattutto notizia l’assenza di Federer, la cui agenzia di management Team 8 (guidata dal suo manager di lunga data Tony Godsick) è tra gli ideatori e fondatori della manifestazione, che è comunque organizzata con il supporto economico e logistico di Tennis Australia e della federazione statunitense USTA. Lo svizzero, attualmente impegnato nel processo di riabilitazione a seguito del terzo intervento al ginocchio in due anni, potrebbe essere comunque presente a Boston, anche se forse sarà costretto a camminare con le stampelle. Sicuramente assenti saranno anche Rafael Nadal, pure lui in stampelle per il problema al piede che lo assilla dallo scorso agosto, e Novak Djokovic, impegnato a ricaricare le batterie dopo la delusione di Olimpiadi e US Open.

La Laver Cup si prepone di essere una manifestazione itinerante per poter dare a quanti più appassionati possibile la chance di vivere in prima persona l’atmosfera unica di questo evento: in questi primi anni di storia un’alternanza tra Europa e Stati Uniti ha portato il torneo a esordire a Praga nel 2017, per poi spostarsi a Chicago nel 2018 e poi tornare nel vecchio continente, a Ginevra, nel 2019. L’edizione 2020 era in programma appunto a Boston, ma i problemi legati al COVID hanno suggerito uno slittamento di un anno per far approdare la Laver Cup alla casa dei Celtics e dei Bruins proprio il prossimo fine settimana. L’edizione 2022 è già in calendario, sempre nell’ultimo fine settimana di settembre, alla O2 Arena di Londra, che perse le Nitto ATP Finals a favore di Torino, tornerà così ad ospitare i grandi nomi della racchetta.

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