Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic make up first two Laver Cup captains picks

The Laver Cup will be full of star power once more, with Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic joining the packed field representing Team World and Team Europe respectively.

The 2018 Laver Cup seems to be another success as the first players are announced — and we are going to witness some thrilling clashes. Following Team Europe’s triumph in Prague last year, the team captain Bjorn Borg has opted for former world number one and 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic as his captain’s pick while Team World will mount another serious title challenge with the help of Juan Martin del Potro, the current world number four.

Djokovic makes debut in the exhibition

After a lengthy injury lay-off, Djokovic showed glimpses of his vintage form with impressive runs recently. The Serbian reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros before making his first ATP final in a year at the Fever-Tree Championships in London. Currently ranked 21st, Djokovic will join Roger Federer in the same team, with a possibility that a doubles partnership between the two legends will form over the tournament.

“Roger and I have played so many tough matches, and he is such a great champion so it will be a unique experience being part of the same team and perhaps even playing doubles together,” Djokovic mentioned in an official statement.

Novak Djokovic seems to be slowly returning to his top form | Photo: Patrik Lundin/Getty Images Europe
Novak Djokovic seems to be slowly returning to his top form | Photo: Patrik Lundin/Getty Images Europe

“I love the whole concept of ‘rivals becoming teammates’ and can’t wait to join Roger Federer in Team Europe under the leadership of our inspirational captain, Bjorn Borg, one of the most accomplished players in tennis history.” Djokovic will be making his first appearance in this lavish tournament which will offer $250,000 to every player in the winning team.

Earlier in March, Federer was already confirmed to participate in the competition. Will the partnership of Federer and Djokovic lead Team Europe to the win for the second consecutive year?

Del Potro leads the charge for Team World

Juan Martin del Potro, alongside Djokovic, is another huge starlet confirmed to participate in the second edition of the Laver Cup. The Argentinian missed out on last year’s edition due to the need for rest and withdrew shortly before the tournament. This year, he returns as the top-ranked player in his team.

Juan Martin del Potro posing alongside his title at Indian Wells | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America
Juan Martin del Potro posing alongside his title at Indian Wells | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

“Although I wasn’t able to play last year, I watched the Laver Cup a lot on the TV and it was very special to see players who normally compete hard against each other and are rivals all year on the tour, join together in one team. This is a unique new event for world tennis and one I’m looking forward to being part of,” del Potro stated. Just in 2018 alone, del Potro was able to win titles in Acapulco and Indian Wells before reaching the semifinals at the French Open and claim his spot at his career-high ranking of four.

Joining Nick Kyrgios in Team World, they will look to spoil the odds and upset Team Europe for the title after the heartbreak last year. Kyrgios owned match point in his match against Federer but failed to convert, ultimately losing the match and the title. This year’s Laver Cup will begin proceedings in Chicago from 21st to the 23rd of September.