London’s respected place in the tennis community dates back to 1877 and the start of Wimbledon, the oldest of the four Grand Slams.
The English capital has also hosted the ATP Finals for more than a decade and Laver Cup organizers are delighted to bring the Laver Cup and its unique format to The O2, the same venue that hosted the men’s season-ending 2009-2020 season took place.
“The O2 is one of the greatest arenas in the world. We’re excited to be here,” said Steve Zacks, CEO of Laver Cup, during a tour of the practice grounds and venue with Team World vice-captain Patrick McEnroe.
“It presents the Laver Cup really well. I think because the public is so familiar with tennis and here, obviously at Wimbledon, which is right next to London, has some of the best tennis courts, that sets an expectation.
“We’re a little bit different and that’s why we’re happy when people see what we’re about.”
The Laver Cup, a three-day team competition with singles and doubles events, awards one point for a win on Friday, two on Saturday and three on Sunday.
It usually bypasses cities that host high-level tennis events — “we like to take it to places that don’t host big tournaments,” as Zacks reiterated — but when the ATP Finals headed to Turin, Italy, The O2 seemed perfect to fit for the fifth edition.
“When the World Tour Finals were postponed, AEG was really interested in continuing the tennis tradition at The O2 since it was so successful,” Zacks said, referring to the operator of The O2. “So we said that would be a really great idea. And it gives us the chance to bring the Laver Cup to a global tennis audience.”
One that’s sure to captivate – especially as it’s the final professional event of Roger Federer’s career. The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion announced his retirement on social media last week and will contest his farewell doubles encounter in Friday’s night session in partnership with Rafael Nadal.
At this point, the Big 4 Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had already committed to play for Team Europe at the 2022 Laver Cup.
“We sold out well before Roger’s announcement because people just had to be here to see it,” Zacks said.
Even without tickets, spectators can visit the fan zone free of charge and follow the training sessions in front of the main entrance of The O2.
Through immersive installations, visitors can test their serve speed at the Cleveland Clinic and take part in an interactive race through the Swiss Alps.
You can grab a bite to eat or drink at one of the many food and drink stations, capture a memorable moment at the Laver Cup photo station, or sit back and relax and watch all the games on the giant screen.