PRAGUE - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the top two players in tennis, will lead the ceremonies during Wednesday's official presentation of the new Laver Cup competition in Prague.
The pair of icons - rivals for a decade and a half at the top of the sport - are paired on the European side of Bjorn Borg, which is facing John McEnroe's World selection. American Francis Tiafoe was named on Tuesday as a late substitute for Juan Martin del Potro for the World team.
"It is with much sadness that I will not be able to compete in the first Laver Cup, but unfortunately I am not completely healthy after my US Open semi-final run," Del Potro said in a statement.
"I just need more time for my body to fully recover and I am not ready to compete at 100 per cent. It was an honour to be selected to participate in this event and I am sure it will be a great success."
Tiafoe will join his American compatriots Sam Querrey and John Isner along Australian Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock of the US and breakout Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
Backing up Federer and Nadal on Europe for the competition which begins on Friday and runs through Sunday will be German young gun Alexander Zverev, former US Open winner Marin Cilic, Austrian Dominic Thiem and Czech Tomas Berdych.
Federer and Nadal are expected to lead a parade of Laver players at the official welcome ceremony in the historic square of the Czech capital.
Rod Laver himself will present at the opening of the event named his honour. Lever is the only man to win the Grand Slam calendar sweep in two separate seasons, the last in 1969.
The Ryder Cup-style competition features a set of hybrid rules including:
- Four matches will be played daily, three singles and one doubles
- Both singles and doubles will be best-of-three sets with ad scoring, with the third set decided by a 10-point tiebreak in the event of split sets
- In the event of a tie after all 12 matches have been completed, a final overtime doubles match will be played as a regular set with ad scoring and a tiebreak
- Each match win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday.
Team Europe: Björn Borg (captain), Thomas Enqvist (vice captain), Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Tomas Berdych.
Team World: John McEnroe (captain), Patrick McEnroe (vice captain), John Isner, Sam Querrey, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Francis Tiafoe, Denis Shapovalov.