The inaugural Laver Cup, pitting Team Europe against Team World, was a huge success and the best idea to reinvigorate tennis in a long time. This was the tennis version of Golf's Ryder Cup, and it was fast-paced, exciting and highly-competitive.
I'm no fan of tennis exhibitions, because it is not real competition as the players are paid to put on a show. If I enjoyed reality sports, I would watch the WWE.
The Laver Cup was a competitive tennis showcase, as the best players in the world rooted their hearts out for teammates not out of nationalism as if it were the Davis Cup, but as a genuine show of respect for their teammates.
The two best players of all time, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, played doubles together for the first time and it was a special moment, a la Michael and Magic teaming together on the 1992 Men's Olympic Basketball Dream Team in Barcelona.
The Laver Cup clearly demonstrates that team tennis can and does work when a great format pits the best against the best.
Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.