GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. LAVER CUP WORLD AND EUROPE TENNIS PLAYERS OUTSIDE, ON PALAIS EYNARD STAIRS DURING WELCOMING CEREMONY
2. ROGER FEDERER, RAFAEL NADAL AND ROD LAVER THROWING BALLS TO FANS
3. FEDERER DURING INTERVIEW
4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWISS TENNIS PLAYER, ROGER FEDERER, ON RAFAEL NADAL'S PRESENCE, SAYING:
"So happy that he's here. You know, I can't be thankful enough, you know looking back in hopefully 20 years that I can always say Raf was there at the first one in Prague. He was there, he supported us, and he believed in the idea. Same here (for this year), he could not be more pumped up for this event, he just won the U.S. Open, it would have been so easy for him to say like, 'look, I need a break'. But he said 'no, my break is coming afterwards, I will push it all aside and I am doing this because I really believe in the concept of the Laver Cup and I believe in you guys'. And it is nice to have a friend like that."
5. TEAM EUROPE DURING CEREMONY / (LEFT TO RIGHT: CAPTAIN BJORN BORG, VICE CAPTAIN THOMAS ENQVIST, ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT, FABIO FOGNINI / STEFANOS TSITSIPAS, ALEXANDER ZVEREV, DOMINIC THIEM, RAFAEL NADAL AND ROGER FEDERER)
6. BOTH TEAMS ON BALCONY
7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TENNIS PLAYER, JOHN ISNER, SAYING:
"It is going to be very, very tough. It is going to be an incredible atmosphere and we would appreciate if some of you guys actually cheered for us this week. So that would, that would actually go a long way in helping us, because this team over here is pretty decent."
8. LAVER CUP TROPHY
STORY: The Swiss city of Geneva welcomed some of the best male tennis players in the world on Wednesday (September 18) two days ahead of the start of the third edition of the Laver Cup.
The tournament, a three-day team event between Europe and the rest of the world, became an official part of the ATP Tour in May this year following its runaway success in its first two editions in Prague and Chicago.
Federer, one of the instigators of the team event who hails from the Swiss city Basel, said he was happy to see the tournament played in his native Switzerland. He will play alongside his rival and friend Rafael Nadal who just won the U.S. Open.
Former U.S. player John McEnroe, a seven-times Grand Slam singles champion, captains Team World while Team Europe are led by his former rival and 11-times Grand Slam Swedish champion Bjorn Borg.
Team Europe have won both previous editions and are solid favourites to make it a hat-trick, leaving American John Isner to plead with the Geneva crowd to show some love and support for the underdogs.
The event, named after Australian great Rod Laver, who won 11 Grand Slams between 1960 and 1969, drew sellout crowds last year as a number of top-ranked players such as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic took part with the Europeans winning 13-8.