Laver Cup dealt another blow as Stefanos Tsitsipas becomes latest star to withdraw
Stefanos Tsitsipas has become the latest high-profile star to pull out of the upcoming 2023 Laver Cup in Vancouver, with Arthur Fils announced as his replacement.
The world No 5 has withdrawn from the exhibition team competition due to an injury, it has been confirmed by the Laver Cup on social media.
Arthur Fils, the world No 44, has been announced as the Greek’s replacement on Team Europe, with the 19-year-old Frenchman set to make his debut at the event.
Since winning his first ATP title in 14 months at the ATP 250 event in Los Cabos last month, Tsitsipas has won just three matches across three tournaments and a Davis Cup tie.
The Greek lost his opening match in Toronto and his second match in Cincinnati before being upset by qualifier Dominik Stricker in the second round of the US Open. The 25-year-old then lost to world No 113 Alex Molcan, having beaten Lukas Klein, as Greece were beaten at home by Slovakia in the Davis Cup World Group I.
Holger Rune also recently withdrew from from the Laver Cup, meaning the two highest-ranked players in Team Europe’s initial squad will not feature.
The world No 4 revealed on social media he would not be able to compete due to his recovery from a back injury: “As I am in treatment with my back it’s not possible for me to play Laver Cup next week. I would have loved to join the fight to get the trophy back to Europe and I will support my teammates from a distance.”
As I am in treatment with my back it’s not possible for me to play Laver Cup next week. I would have loved to join the fight to get the trophy 🏆 back to Europe and I will support my team mates from a distance 💪🏼 #teameurope #lavercup
— Holger Rune (@holgerrune2003) September 17, 2023
The Dane has lost his last seven matches since reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in July, with his injury halting the fine form he displayed during the clay and grass seasons.
The 20-year-old was defeated in three sets by world No 117 Thiago Monteiro last week as Denmark lost at home to Brazil in the Davis Cup World Group I.
World No 25 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina will replace Rune on Team Europe to make his maiden Laver Cup appearance.
The 24-year-old Spaniard told the event’s website: “You play against the best players in the world at Laver Cup. I am excited to be a part of Team Europe, to share the court with other great players and to have them supporting you.”
Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Gael Monfils complete Europe’s six-man team, with Jiri Lehecka and Stan Wawrinka named as alternates.
Former world No 13 Nick Kyrgios also pulled out of Team World’s squad for the Laver Cup last month as his 2023 season continues to be plagued by injuries.
The Australian’s only match of the year so far was a loss to Wu Yibing in Stuttgart in June, having been sidelined following a knee surgery earlier in the year. The 28-year-old then suffered a wrist injury ahead of Wimbledon and has been unable to compete since.
Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Ben Shelton and Francisco Cerundolo make up Team World’s squad, with Christopher Eubanks and Milos Raonic the alternates.
The 2023 Laver Cup will be held from 22-24 September, with John McEnroe’s Team World the 2022 champions after beating Bjorn Borg’s Team Europe in London.
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