Roger Federer’s Laver Cup on Friday made a graceful exit out of a looming September scheduling clash, with the Europe v World team event cancelling its 2020 edition.
The Boston date next September would have clashed with the hastily rescheduled French Open, whose worried bosses made a calendar land grab by switching the clay court major from May-June to a September 2020 start.due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Laver dates suddenly became unworkable, with major players unlikely to choose the special event over the Grand Slam in Paris.
The fourth edition of the Laver Cup will now be staged September 24-26 2021
“We needed to make a decision now on our event,” Federer manager and Laver boss Tony Godsick said.
“We know our passionate fans will be disappointed that they have to wait an extra year for the Laver Cup in Boston, but this is the responsible course of action, necessitated by the emerging calendar conflicts.”
The all-business Godsick spun the cancellation as a way “to provide certainty for our fans as well as our players, sponsors, broadcasters, partners, staff, volunteers and of course the great City of Boston.
“We thank them all for their unwavering dedication, hard work, support and understanding and we can’t wait to bring happier times to Boston in 2021.”
He added a thought for worldwide victims of the contagious virus which has upended almost all sporting calendars.
“Most importantly, all of our thoughts are with the massive number of people around the world impacted by COVID-19 and the incredible selfless people working on the front line keeping many of us safe.”
Federer instigated the Laver competition to celebrate his idol, Rod Laver, still a fixture at Grand Slams as a VIP honoured guest to this day.
Federer said he understood the necessary Boston delay:
“It’s unfortunate that the Laver Cup has to be pushed back a year, but at this stage it’s the right thing to do for everyone concerned.
“Although disappointing, the good news is that TD Garden will still be able to host the event next year and I really look forward to finally playing in Boston for the first time at Laver Cup 2021.”
Organisers have offered fans the option of keeping their 2020 tickets to be used next year or obtaining a full refund.