Team World’s McEnroe: ‘Now We Have Tasted Winning, It Feels Good’
The tables have well and truly turned for Team World in the history of the Laver Cup.
After four defeats in the first four editions of the annual team event, John McEnroe’s men backed up their 2022 triumph in London with a resounding 13-2 victory against Team Europe this weekend in Vancouver. Yet team captain McEnroe is already thinking about further success.
“On behalf of Team World, I am proud of these guys,” said the American ATP Tour legend at his team's post-event press conference. “We brought together a great group of some youth and experience, guys that have been here before. Everybody played well. It was an awesome week. We kicked some ass, baby. That's what we did.
“We're already thinking about next year because winning is a whole lot better than losing. We struggled the first couple years, and now we have tasted winning, and it feels good.”
Three members of McEnroe’s six-strong roster had not played a Laver Cup match prior to this week. Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton and Francisco Cerundolo contributed to eight of the 13 points won by Team World and all three spoke about the thrill of making their debut at Roger’s Arena.
“Playing for Johnny Mac, it's been amazing,” said #NextGenATP Shelton, who won one singles and two doubles clashes across the three days. “I really enjoyed this weekend and being able to be chosen for this team. It's been a dream.
“To be able to put points on the board for Team World, it's something that I couldn't have imagined. I really appreciate both the captains for putting their trust in me, and being able to get it done at the end of the week is a great feeling.”
Team World’s triumph in Vancouver was of particular significance to Felix Auger-Aliassime, who revelled in front of his home fans in Canada. The 23-year-old has struggled for his best form this season but rose to the occasion for the second year in a row for Team World, who next year will try to make it three victories in a row in Berlin, Germany.
“I feel good. Every time I play for a team, I feel really good, and I feel like I played good levels,” said Auger-Aliassime. “Of course I had a great time. Playing singles all the time, the Tour can get a bit lonely, I guess, at times. To have teammates to win as a team, for me it's really special. I'm having a great time again this year.
“Like Mac said, to win is the best feeling. It's nice to come back a year later after what we had done in London to come back and win here in Vancouver. That's what we wanted a week ago when we arrived. We did it. We backed it up and stepped up to the challenge and made it happen.”