Willy at Laver Cup

Willy/Helga at Laver Cup

Watching last week’s Laver Cup on TV – seeing the fantastic tennis play and enthusiastic team atmosphere from the world’s greatest players – was incredible.  But what was it like to be there?  Good friend, Willy Hoffmann tells us …

First-Hand Viewing

After watching the Laver Cup the last two years on TV, Helga and I decided this year to travel to Geneva, Switzerland to watch it live — a decision we will never regret.

I have been to many sporting events (World Series, Stanley Cup playoffs, World Cup Soccer, etc.) but this tournament can compete with all of them!  The arena (Pal-Expo Center) seats 17,000 people and the event was sold out on all three days and it was rocking.

It was a fantastic atmosphere and although most of the fans were rooting for Team Europe and Roger Federer, they were very tennis knowledgeable fans and applauding Team World’s great players as well.  We met people from the USA, Canada , Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka  and Brazil among plenty of Swiss, Germans and Italians.

One Sided Victory?

Before we left Germany, some of my tennis buddies thought that Team Europe would win by a landslide; but to the contrary, Team World put out a very strong performance lead by Jack Sock , Taylor Fritz and John Isner and was on the brink of winning but in the last two matches Federer beat Isner 6:4 7:6 and Sascha Zverev was able to beat Milos Raonic 10:4 in a tiebreaker to win the cup (we really enjoyed that a match tiebreaker was played instead a 3rd set; which made it even more dramatic and a total of 8 matches were decided by match tiebreakers).

Team Atmosphere

We saw great doubles and I couldn’t believe what a great teammate Kyrgios was. He was constantly at the bench encouraging his team mates, fetching water & towels also his playing was excellent and was only beaten by Roger in another breaker by 7:10.  If the kid would play and behave like that all the time he would certainly be within the top 5 players on the tour another surprise was the young American Taylor Fritz who beat Dominick Thiem (ATP #5 ) 10:5 in a Match tiebreaker.

Unique Scoring System

Besides playing a match tiebreaker, the match scoring made it interesting too.  Getting 1 point for a win the first day, 2 points on the second and 3 on the third day … each team had the chance to come back from a deficit. Team Europe was down 7-11 but winning the last two matches they made it 13-11.

It was three days of fantastic tennis — another item off my bucket list!  And if you can make it to Boston next year … you should do it!!

What did you think of the Laver Cup?

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8 thoughts on “Willy at Laver Cup

  1. I love the concept and the excitement it creates for tennis! I was surprised that it was as close as it was. I would love to see a format where teams are drafted by captains (Federer vs. Nadal?) It might lead to a consistently competitive event since Europe seems to have most of the top players.

    Steve, i am under the belief that Mac and Borg recruited players — but not sure. thanks, george

  2. “Happy Sunday (Patriots vs. Bills today)” – wow, are the Washington Generals playing the Harlem Globetrotters today also?

    Will the 2020 Laver cup in Boston have similar excitement, high energy? Question answered by knowing if Federer healthy and leading his team. Having last match determine the winner is also very helpful.

    Kyrgios seems also to behave better when competing in doubles – maybe he just does not like being solo, getting all the attention – Federer leveled his emotional balance when he connected with his now wife. Her women’s tour experience helped her be what from the outside seems to have been a wonderful, mutually beneficial combination – Maybe Nick just needs a good woman, one who knows professional tennis, to bring out his best behavior. What a gamble for her though!

    Winder, first of all, the Pats are only a 7 point favorite! And yes, i think a wife and babies could help Mr. Kyrgios. thanks, george

  3. I also really like the Laver Cup…..it’s not very often that tennis is converted to a team sport….college, Davis Cup and now the Laver Cup. Kyrgios likes team play….he always plays enthusiastically when he’s part of a team. Either you like team sports, or you don’t. The same is true with our senior leagues in tennis….some guys leave the courts right after their matches….other team members stay and cheer on their teammates who are still playing.

    John, yes, team sports brings out the best in most. thanks, george

  4. George:

    Wonderful to hear from Willy with his insightful first hand review of the Laver Cup. I will try to make it to Boston next year, but often my law practice gets in the way of these things so whether I can actually make it will need to be decided closer to the event.

    Also writing to put in a plug for our other Laver Cup attending Tennis Fantasies buddy, Ken Munson, who was personally invited to attend — and photograph — the Laver Cup last year in Chicago by none other than Rocket Laver himself!!

    – Marty

    Marty, see you soon! george

  5. Hi George,
    Always enjoy reading your emails.
    I was also at Laver Cup and can’t believe I did not see Willy.
    My wife Pat and I were guests of a good friend,and like Willy , the event is spectacular.The best organized event on the tennis calendar by far.
    The players do not get points for playing and are totally relaxed in a team atmosphere.
    The tennis is better and more great shots are seen when there is no pressure.
    It will be interesting now they have joined with the ATP and get points next year.The scoring system works well in this format and allows them to keep it close.
    Great tennis good weather in a beautiful city like Geneva,what more could you wish for.
    Boston is ready for the next one,close to home,if you go you will have a tennis experience like no other.

    Best regards…..Fred

    Fred, great to hear from you. I would love to be able to make it to Boston next year! thanks, george

  6. George, Another great blog item! When you get responses from legends like Fred
    Stolle from your Texas camp it adds a special flavor to your column. We should try
    to get a group from Naples tennis players to attend in Boston next year. Big thanks
    to Willy and Helga for sharing on facebook as well.

    Phil, thanks. and you are in charge of the trip! george

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