Eying a fourth straight Laver Cup win, Team Europe got off a strong start Friday on the opening day of the Laver Cup.
Casper Ruud set the tone early for Europe getting the first point of the event with a upset win over the World’s Reilly Opelka 6-3, 7-6(4).
Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini followed with a match tiebreak win over Felix Auger-Aliassime 67(3), 7-5, 10-8 in a whopping 2 hours, 52 minutes.
“I was just fighting. The match was really hard,” said Berrettini. “Felix was playing really good, not giving me anything, no mistakes, serving really well. I felt a different energy. I’m playing for my team, not just for my myself. It felt great.”
In the evening, Europe completed the singles sweep as a shaky Andrey Rublev edged Diego Schwartzman coming from 6-2 down to win an 11-9 match tiebreak.
“When you have a third set super tiebreak, you never know what’s going to happen,” said Rublev. “Today, we were a bit luckier. It was so close. Diego was leading the tiebreak, but I found a way to win. It happens. This is tennis. This is sport. Someone has to win, someone has to lose.”
The World claimed the finale with John Isner and Denis Shapovalov holding off Berrettini and Alexander Zverev 10-1 in the match breaker.
After the win, Zverev apparently told the World that this would be their last point. Joking or not, it made headlines for Zverev’s backstory.
acc. to Shapo, Zv*rev said right after yesterday’s doubles that this was the last point they are ever gonna win. Sooo after a little digging, let me just say that Reilly “he also said he’s innocent” is >>>> pic.twitter.com/Ww18IhJnhG
— Emma (@tennisemms) September 25, 2021
Europe goes into Day 2 of the Laver Cup with a 3-1 lead. Though today, each tie is worth two points — first to reach 13 wins.
Today’s headliner puts Stefanos Tsitsipas against the combustible Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios, who’s long a been a supporter of the Boston Celtics who call the arena for the Laver Cup their home, leads the Greek 2-0.
“I think everyone sitting here knows how special it is to be in such a great arena with so much history and so much sporting greatness to come out of this building, to be a part of it,” said Kyrgios. “I have played in Madison Square Garden, I’ve played in the United Center. I’ve played in the TD Garden now.
“There is going to be some Celtics players watching as well, and that’s added pressure. If we can come out with a win, it’s going to make it even more special that we did it in such a special place as well.”
Zverev returns to meet Isner in singles and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev makes his debut as a Grand Slam winner against Shapovalov.
Eight total points are available on Saturday. Europe could stretch their total to a maximum of 11 should they sweep today.
SATURDAY LAVER CUP SCHEDULE
Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs Nick Kyrgios (Team World)
Alexander Zverev (Team Europe) vs John Isner (Team World)
Not Before 7:00 pm
Daniil Medvedev (Team Europe) vs Denis Shapovalov (Team World)
Andrey Rublev/Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs John Isner/Nick Kyrgios (Team World)
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