Ryder-style Laver Cup set for 2017 launch

A new Ryder Cup-style tennis tournament pitting Europe against the rest of the world and featuring the top men's players will make its debut next year, organisers announced on Friday.

The first Laver Cup will be held in September 2017.   -  Getty Images

A new Ryder Cup-style tennis tournament pitting Europe against the rest of the world and featuring the top men's players will make its debut next year, organisers announced on Friday.

The Laver Cup, named after Australian tennis legend Rod Laver and inspired by Roger Federer, will join a congested annual calendar in September 2017, with a location and exact dates to be announced later this year.

"This is going to be a team event, getting the best European players together to play against players from the rest of the world," said Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley, flanked by Laver at the announcement in Melbourne. "You've seen what's happened with the Ryder Cup and where it is today. We believe it's going to become a stop on the calendar that's a must-do for the players and the fans."

Two teams of six, led by non-playing captains in the style of golf's Ryder Cup, will fight it out in the event which will be held annually apart from in Summer Olympic years. The three-day competition will feature three singles matches and a doubles match each day, and if the scores are tied at the end of the tournament, the winner will be decided by a one-off doubles match.

Four members of each team will be decided by the rankings, with another two chosen by the captains. The tournament will offer “substantial” prize money but no rankings points, Tiley said.

The event was dreamed up by Federer's TEAM8 sports agency and has Tennis Australia and Jorge Paulo Lemann, a businessman and former Davis Cup player, as its partners.

"I'm certainly honoured that it warrants the name the Laver Cup. It's a great feeling," Laver told reporters, in the announcement during the ongoing Australian Open. I think if you're in the Davis Cup format you're sort of country to country. It's always been that way. This is just purely Europe against the rest of the world. Hopefully the top players will want to participate."