Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will pair up for tonight’s Laver Cup doubles in a tournament that brings together 12 of the best players in the world.
Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg made the surprise announcement just hours after Federer said he “would like” to play with the Wimbledon and US Open champion.
“I would like to play with [Djokovic],” Federer said. “I hope he feels the same way.
“I get along very well with everybody. I think this time it’s special that Rafa’s [Nadal] not a part, but Djokovic is, and I’ve not spent much time with Djokovic in the past, but we get along very well.
“I’m happy he’s got such great momentum coming in from the US Open, so I hope he can really also bring some points home for Team Europe.”
The opening day of action starts with a singles match between Team Europe’s Grigor Dimitrov and Frances Tiafoe representing Team World.
They will be followed by British No 1 Kyle Edmund (Team Europe) against Jack Sock for the World side.
In the night session, David Goffin of Team Europe will face Diego Schwartzman before the blockbuster doubles clash featuring Djokovic and Federer, world No 1 doubles player Sock and Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
“I did have an inkling they would play – I am surprised they would play the first day,” said Team World captain McEnroe, who admitted to being shocked by Borg’s decision to play the two top-ranked singles players, Djokovic and Federer, in the doubles.
McEnroe called up Tiafoe for Team World following the withdrawal of Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro. The 20-year-old American, who was a member of Team World at the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague last year, won his maiden ATP Tour title at Delray Beach in February.
“Laver Cup was one of the highlights of 2017 for me, I had an awesome time and I’m so excited to join the team again and represent Team World in Chicago,” said Tiafoe, who is ranked No 40 in the world.
“Prague was fantastic last year and I’m really looking forward to playing at ‘home’ here in the US. Chicagoans love their sports and I’m sure we’ll get some loud support for Team World. I can’t wait.”
Each player will play at least one singles match during the first two days of the three-day event, while no player will play singles more than twice.
At least four of the six players must play doubles and no doubles combination can be played more than once, unless for the doubles decider on Day 3, if points are tied at 12-12.
Team World comprises non-playing captain and vice-captain John and Patrick McEnroe, along with Anderson, Isner, Schwartzman, Sock, Tiafoe and Nick Kyrgios.
Defending champions Team Europe are led by Borg and vice-captain Thomas Enqvist, with Federer, Djokovic, Dimitrov, Edmund, Goffin and Alexander Zverev taking to the courts.