Tennis ace Rafael Nadal who has been included in the 6 man Team Europe for the upcoming Laver Cup tournament, on Thursday slammed his critics who claimed that the tournament was nothing but an exhibition. The Spaniard responded strongly at pre-tournament press conference, by saying that he and his team are looking forward to the competition and are determined to win the competition.

‘We are here to try our best, I wake up today at 6am in the morning to practice. I don’t practice for an exhibition match. We are here to try our best and try to win.

“We want to play with passion and to play for our continent, we have a great team behind us and want to do it well, let’s see if we are able to do it,” said the US Open champion.

His Swiss counterpart, Roger Federer also stressed on the importance of the tournament format and said that the team members are gearing up for the event and are willing to put everything on court to come out successful.

The much talked about, Laver Cup tournament is a unique format showdown which will have two teams, notably Team Europe and Team World go up against each other.

The European team consists of Nadal, Roger Federer, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Tomas Berdych while the Team World comprises of Jack Sock, Nick Kyrgios, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Denis Shapovalov. The two teams will battle against each other to emerge victorious.

Several tennis critiques have spoken against the competition and called it an exhibition.

Both Nadal and Federer who comprise the team Europe have come together and expressed their desire to play in the competition. Emphasising on good display at the tournament, Federer also said, Without giving it all the players won’t be able to engage the crowd and get them involved, ” ‘Without (putting everything in) that, the fans are just going to sit there and maybe enjoy some tennis but they’re not going to get into it.’

The competition which begins on Friday will see Marin Cilic and Frances Tiafoe go up against each other in the opener.

First Published | 22 September 2017 8:00 PM
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