The Laver Cup is set to start today with Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov kickstarting the proceedings. Roger Federer will be teaming up with Alexander Zverev this time. Fans may yet again see Federer and Rafael Nadal team up once again. The third edition of tennis' near-reality show promises to be yet another extravaganza if previous years are anything to go by. But what is the Laver Cup, what is its format and how are players selected? Here is a lowdown:
Each team consists of six players, led by a captain who is a former player. Bjorn Borg leads Team Europe, while John McEnroe leads Team World. Of the six players, three qualify based on their ATP singles rankings as of the Monday following the French Open. Three are 'captain's picks', announced by the start of the US Open.
The event is played over three days. On Friday and Saturday, there is a day and night session followed by a final single day session on Sunday.
Each day, four matches are played—three singles and a doubles.
Both singles and doubles are best of three sets with ad scoring. In the event of split sets, the third set is a 10-point match tiebreaker.
Each player competes in at least one singles match during the first two days.
No player can play singles more than twice during the three days.
At least four of the six players must play doubles. No doubles combination is played more than once, unless for the Decider on Day 3, if points are 12:12.
The winning team must reach 13 points.
In the event of a tie after all 12 matches are played, a final overtime doubles match—a Decider—is played as a regular set with ad scoring and a tiebreak.
Friday’s lineup is announced on Thursday afternoon. Saturday’s lineup is announced an hour after play ends on Friday night. Sunday’s lineup is announced an hour after play ends on Saturday night.
Match-ups are determined through the exchange of lineup cards by the captains.
Each match win is worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday.
The first team to reach 13 points out of a total 24 points available wins the Laver Cup. If the points are tied at 12:12 at the end of all matches, a fifth match (Decider) on Sunday is played to determine the winner.
Morning session: 4:30 pm (IST)
Thiem vs Shapovalov
Fognini vs Sock
Evening session: 10:30 pm (IST)
Tsitsipas vs Fritz
Federer/Zverev vs Shapovalov/Sock
Where to watch
TV: DD Sport
Online: Amazon Prime Live
Team Europe: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Fabio Fognini, Robert Bautista Agut (alternate)
Team World: John Isner, Milos Raonic, nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Jack Sock, Taylor Fritz, Jordan Thompson (alternate)
2017: Europe beat World 15-9 in total points (13 needed for victory)
2018: Europe beat World 13-8 in total points