Chicago’s United Center has been named as the host of next year’s edition of the Laver Cup, the new team tennis tournament that debuted in Prague last weekend.
The 23,500-capacity venue will play host to the second edition of the tournament, which sees a six-strong team of top European male players take on their counterparts from the rest of the world, between 21st and 23rd September 2018.
Confirmation of next year’s host venue came as the inaugural Laver Cup drew to a close in the Czech capital on Sunday, when 19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer led Team Europe to a dramatic 15-9 win over Team World.
Last weekend’s three-day event, which saw Federer team up with his great rival Rafael Nadal for a doubles match, was held to rave reviews, with observers from across the tennis world citing the tournament’s innovative format and in-arena presentation, as well as its approach to social media.
The event format sees three singles and one doubles match played each day, with points awarded for each match. Staged on a hard court in a retractable roof stadium or indoor arena, it will take place every year, two weeks following the US Open, except in Summer Olympic years.
Named after Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the event is co-organised by Federer’s management company, Team8 Global, and Tennis Australia, and is jointly backed by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann.
“On behalf of our partners Tennis Australia, USTA, and Jorge Paulo Lemann, it’s my honour to announce that we are bringing this special event to the great sports city of Chicago and the amazing tennis fans of the American midwest,” said Tony Godsick, Federer’s long-time agent and the president and chief executive of Team8.
“We had discussions with a number of US cities eager to hold the second Laver Cup, but in the end, Chicago was the clear choice.
“Chicago has not hosted a major tennis event in more than 25 years. We are going to make sure their wait was worth it.”
USTA president and chief executive Katrina Adams added: “We couldn’t be more thrilled coming off an incredibly successful inaugural Laver Cup to be hosting this event in the United States next year.
“It’s personally thrilling for the Laver Cup to be coming to my home town of Chicago. To be associated with the legacy of the United Center and working with their team will allow us to showcase this event and attract more players to our sport for a lifetime.”
The United Center, one of the largest sports and entertainment arenas in North America, is best known as the home of both the Chicago Blackhawks ice hockey team and the Chicago Bulls basketball franchise.