Tennis superbrats John McEnroe and Nick Kyrgios are set to team up to try to conquer grand slam giants Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the inaugural Laver Cup.
McEnroe has been named Rest of the World captain at the event’s launch in New York with old foe Bjorn Borg to skipper Europe in tennis’s version of golf’s Ryder Cup.
The teams’ event will make its debut in September 2017 in Prague.
“It’s going to be absolutely unbelievable,” Federer said after he and Nadal committed to lead Europe.
“To be on the same side of the net as Rafa finally is a great feeling and not facing the big forehand.
“I can actually support it and say: `Hit one more’ and take joy out of it. I can’t wait to play doubles with Rafa at the Laver Cup.
“It’s going to be a very special and unique experience.”
Each team will have six players. Four will earn their way onto the team through ATP points standings. The other two will be captain’s picks.
The Laver Cup will be played annually except for Olympic years over the course of three days – Friday through Sunday – with the first edition at the O2 Arena in Prague on an indoor hard court from September 22-24 next year.
There will be four matches each day – three in singles, one in doubles – and each player must play at least one singles rubber.
Europe shape as a superpower with a potential line-up of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Federer, Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych.
McEnroe, though, says it’s too early to write off the Rest of the World, who, on current rankings, would have world No.6 Milos Raonic as their spearhead along with Kei Nishikori, Kyrgios and fellow Australian Bernard Tomic plus two captain’s picks.
“A lot of things can change in one year,” McEnroe said.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen a year from now. Guys like Milos, for example – he sees these all-time greats and trying to bridge that gap, trying to figure out a way that he can get closer.
“Juan Martin (del Potro), I was just so happy to see him back on the court. He’s had such a rough time but he’d be an incredible positive with the way he’s played at the Olympics.
“And there is some young guys, there’s going to be a couple of guys going to make a breakthrough in the next year or two, no question about it.
“That’s why I think this is going to be a lot more competitive than it may appear at the moment.”
Rod Laver, the only player to complete two calendar-year grand slams, said he was humbled to have the event named in his honour.
“It’s amazing,” said Australia’s greatest ever player.
“Hopefully it’s going to be a world competition that’s going to last and be a real competition for the world of tennis.”