Laver cup

Laver cup

Laver’s Cup is an international men’s tennis tournament, which is held exclusively on indoor courts. Two large teams take part in it: the first is the teams of Europe and the second is the team of the rest of the world, which includes non-European countries.

But before going into details about this tournament, it is worth remembering the history of tennis as a sport.

How it all began

As the ancient historical sources say, the Aztecs of America, the inhabitants of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as Babylonia, Egypt, Persia and China, were fond of playing with a small ball, which had to be beaten with a palm or some broad stick. In the paintings of many artists of the time could be found an image of such an action. For example, in the paintings of the famous Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, you can find tennis attributes of the time: rackets and balls. And even if the meaning of the pictures is completely different – the image of tennis accessories nevertheless suggests that the artist didn’t just focus on this.

For several centuries, historians wanted to establish a direct connection between these games with ball games of the early Middle Ages, but the lack of documentary evidence most likely leaves this question unanswered. Currently, researchers from the origins of tennis tend to think that the games of antiquity have gone through a slow evolutionary process with many transformations.

Most medievalists believe that the prototype of tennis appeared in France in the XI century under the name Jeu de Paume (literally translated from the French “game of the palm”). Balls that had the name “esteufs” were of various sizes and weights. There is evidence that in Paris in 1292 there were 30 artisans (Paumiers) making balls (Esteuf). For comparison, for example, at that time there were 8 libraries and one supplier of paints in the French capital.

They played on the streets, paved with stone, which improved the rebound of the ball. The streets were chosen, as a rule, narrow, so that it was possible to draw them with a tape or a rope. The game gathered crowds of spectators who were sick loudly and emotionally.

Somewhat later in the XIII-XIV centuries, games similar to the French Jeu de Paume became popular in Italy, in England, in Spain, in the Basque Country, in Valencia.

Initially, Jeu de Paume was fond of commoners, but over time, the game was to the liking of the French monks. Church servants played, as a rule, in galleries with stone floors that surrounded the inner courtyards of the monasteries. These rooms are called Ballhaus.

The surviving manuscripts contain the account of Abbot Cochard of the popularity of this game among the French monastic brethren in the 12th century. He also mentions the tradition that existed in Orleans, when the bishop gave presents to his parishioners a week before Easter, in response to which they presented him several bits (Fr.- Battoir) and a set of new balls to the parish of Christ and the canonics could play tennis. This tradition existed in other monasteries of France.

Over time, monastic fun becomes fashionable among crowned heads and nobility. For the love of the English royal nobility for the game, she received the name of Royal Tennis. But the term “royal” was introduced only in the middle of the 20th century in order to distinguish this form of tennis from tennis, which appeared somewhat later under the name Real Tennis.

The surviving manuscripts contain the account of Abbot Cochard of the popularity of this game among the French monastic brethren in the 12th century. He also mentions the tradition that existed in Orleans, when the bishop gave presents to his parishioners a week before Easter, in response to which they presented him several battoir and a set of new balls on the day of Christ’s Resurrection, so that the abbot and canons could play tennis. This tradition existed in other monasteries of France. Over time, monastic fun becomes fashionable among crowned heads and nobility.

For the love of the English royal nobility for the game, she received the name of Royal Tennis. But the term “royal” was introduced only in the middle of the 20th century in order to distinguish this form of tennis from tennis, which appeared somewhat later under the name Real Tennis.

The status of kings and their courtiers did not allow play in the presence of the lower class. Therefore, in order to protect themselves from unwanted eyes, indoor tennis halls with side galleries for noblemen began to be built in many castles. Such palace courts appeared in: Poitiers, Louvre, Fontainebleau, Pau, Amboise, Compiègne, Plessis-les-Tours and in other castles. Indoor game was called “Jeu de Sourte Paume”. Literally, “courte” is short, what was meant is a court limited in length, unlike “Jeu de Longue Paume” – playing on a long court, that is, on a street where the length of the court was not limited (the game was entertaining, Jeu de Longue Paume competitions have been held since 1817).

It is assumed that the first indoor court appeared in Poitiers (France) in 1230. But it is also known that in 1285 a court was built in Valencia (Spain). Today only the street name reminds of it.

Tennis today

Since 1878, the first French tennis clubs have been established in the resort towns of Dinardé (Atlantic coast, north-west France), Le Havre (coast of the Pas-de-Calais, northern France), Cannes (Cote d’Azur, southern France) (1881) , Biarritz (Atlantic Pyrenees), Nice (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Mediterranean, southeast of France) (1890).

In 1880, the first clay courts appeared. To this innovation, tennis owes the English twin brothers William and Ernest Renshaw, who opened a lawn tennis club in Cannes. But, very quickly, they noticed that due to the local climate, the grass wears out quickly. And then they had an idea, to cover the court with fine crumbs, obtained by grinding the burnt clay pots. It should be noted that the brothers from 1881 for 10 years dominated the courts, as in their homeland, as in European cities.

In Paris, the first tennis club appeared in 1882 “Racing Club de France”, and the following year another – “Stade Francais”. In 1886, 10 clay courts for the l’île de Puteaux club were built on an island on the Seine, in the suburbs of the capital (not far from the Bois de Boulogne).

The port city of Boulogne-sur-Mer (in the north of France) became a pioneer in the organization of tennis competitions, on the clay courts of which from September 9 to September 13, 1888 5 players took part and all from Great Britain. Defeated Edgar John Chippendale.

Since 1890, two Parisian sports clubs “Racing Club de France” and “l’île de Puteaux”, with the largest number of courts and stands for spectators, became the main bases for holding tournaments, including those open to foreigners. In 1900, the Olympic tournament was held on the courts of these clubs.

And it was 1900 that marked the beginning of the rapid development of tennis at the world level. One after another, various tournaments and competitions began to appear. One of the most famous is the Davis Cup, which was first held in 1900 and in just a couple of years received the status of the official tournament of the Olympic Games level.

Laver cup

Today there are a huge number of well-known tennis tournaments, but this does not mean that in the world of tennis there is no place for new competitions and tournaments. Year after year, hundreds of professional tennis players try their luck and professionalism by participating in world-class tournaments. Therefore, it is usually difficult for novice tennis players or amateur tennis players to withstand such competition. For such cases, small competitions are created between tennis fans of a small skill.

But what about those who have already reached all heights? Certainly, world-wide stars win the same awards over and over again, winning the same cups. But in sports, as in any other business, new heights are needed. That is why new tournaments are being created, like the Laver Cup tournament.

Laver Cup – team exhibition tournament, which is held annually (starting in 2017), except for the Olympic seasons, in different places of the planet. The tournament will always use courts with a hard system in the arenas with a cleaning roof.

The motto of the tournament “Pride. Honor. Trust. Respect”. The tournament was initiated by the sports agency “Team8” boutique (co-founders Tony Godsick and Roger Federer) on January 28, 2015 in Melbourne. Tournament Director Steve Zacks.

Two teams participate in the tournament: “Europe” and “World” (with the exception of players who are not included in the “Europe” team). Each team consists of 6 tennis players, four of whom qualify according to the ATP rating and two are chosen by the team captains (non-playing captains).

The tournament takes place within 3 days two weeks after the “US Open”. Every day there are three matches in singles and one in doubles (two singles in the day session, one single and one double – in the evening). According to the results of 12 matches the winner is determined. In the event of a tie, the decisive match is played. For each victory on the first day, the team gets one point, on the second – two, on the third – three.

In singles, each player is obliged to play one match and three more players (out of 6), at the option of the captain, play one more match. Match format: from 3 “tie-break sets”.

The pairs are completed before the start of the first day of the tournament and their composition does not change throughout the tournament. Each pair plays one match. The format of the doubles match: two “tie-break sets”, the decisive set – “super tie-break”

On the eve of each game day, the captains of the teams submit the tournament referee a list of players with the number in single matches and one of the pairs that have not played yet. In the list it is not necessary that the player with a higher rating stand at number 1. The captain of the teams does not know which team will have a rival team on this game day.

In the case of the decisive 13th match, the team captains form a pair in any composition immediately before the match. For participation rating points are not charged, but there are substantial fees.

August 24, 2015 in New York, the presentation of the first tournament. On it, Rod Laver announced the first captains and their assistants (vice-captains): in the team of “Europe” – Bjorn Borg and Thomas Enquist; in the team “World” – John McInroy and his younger brother Patrick.

On June 29, 2017 at the Cannizaro House Wimbledon Hotel in London, the trophy of the tournament was presented.

The cup is made of silver obtained after melting one of Laver’s first professional trophies – the US Championship. Handmade by jeweler Kevin Williams of the English company Thomas Lyte.

In 2017, the venue was the “O2 Arena” in Prague (September 22-24). Coverage of the court hard, unusual for tennis, dark gray.

For the team of “Europe” were: Rafael Nadal (1), Roger Federer (2), Alexander Zverev (4), Marin Cilic (5), Dominic Tim (7), Tomash Berdych (19). And for the team “Peace”: John Isner (17), Sam Querrey (16), Nick Kirios (20), Jack Seok (21), Denis Shapovalov (51), Francis Tiafo (72). For the team “World” was supposed to speak Juan Martin del Potro (24), but on the eve of the tournament was shot for health reasons. He was replaced by 19-year-old Francis Tiafoe.

For the first time in their career, two great tennis players Nadal and Federer played together! For the first time, since the introduction of the ATP computer rating (1973), the 1st and 2nd racket of the world in singles united in a pair!

Tennis fans in more than 200 countries of the world watched the first Laver Cup draw on TV, which was broadcast on ESPN, Tennis Channel, SuperTennis and SkySport.