The special role of Laver Cup captains

Unlike ATP Tour matches, the captains (and the team) are on the sidelines. “I offer a combination of team building, tactics and psychological reinforcement,” said John McEnroe, although tactics take a back seat. “It’s hard to understand something so drastic. These are often basic reminders, but it’s not like I should say to John Isner, “Serve big. “

Most of the time, that’s the role of an improved cheerleader. “I give it a positive vibe,” Borg said.

“These players are the best in the world and have faced the other guys so they know what to do and what not to do,” he said. “But if they’re not playing well, I can push them in a positive way.”

With the Big Three replaced by newcomers like Caspar Ruud and Matteo Berrettini, Borg said: “I could be more practical and say a few more things this year.”

McEnroe said his stature and personality and that of Borg had made an impact.

“Even for Roger or Rafa, looking and seeing Bjorn, they’ll say, ‘I want to make sure I do my thing,’ because Bjorn has an aura around him,” McEnroe said. “I hope to bring energy to our side.”

Team Europe may be the favorite, but McEnroe has a solution: “I was suggesting that when I was growing up Russia was not considered part of Europe, we [Daniil] Medvedev and [Andrey] Rublev and that would level the playing field. ”Medvedev won the US Open on September 12.

In reality, Russia is in Europe and Asia, but the players come from the European side.

“John,” Borg said with a chuckle, “would like all players.”

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