After winning 7 of the first 8 ties of the 2021 Laver Cup, it didn’t take much time for Team Europe to wrap up their fourth straight win over Team World.
The doubles pairing of Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev wrapped it up with a 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-3 victory over Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov in the opening match of day 3 in Boston.
The win gave Europe 14 points to clinch the Cup.
“I’m very proud, of course, to defend the title,” said Europe captain Bjorn Borg. “They played great tennis.
“Of course, Team World, they have the home advantage here but,” he said. “we have a good relationship, both teams. They’re going to play each other so many times.”
Rublev enjoyed his first Laver Cup win.
“I was thinking I’m one of the worst ones in doubles, that I can only shoot forehands and that’s it. But it looks like I can play doubles really well,” Rublev said on court. “It’s been amazing. It’s been a pleasure to be with these guys, with Bjorn and Thomas (Enqvist) behind our back. It was a pleasure.”
Following another defeat to his rival, World captain John McEnroe was not lost on words.
“We battled our best. These guys are a great team, no question, incredible team. They had good team spirit. We did as well,” McEnroe said. “Obviously if you get a couple different results, could have put more pressure on them, but we just came up short in I think [five] tie-breaks. You win half those, totally different story.”
Team Europe finished winning five of six match tiebreakers including the first match Sunday.
“Team World is going to keep coming out here and battling the underdog role, actually something that is pretty special, and we have made this event close a bunch of times,” said Isner who teamed with Shapovalov to win the lone point on Friday. “I think I speak for everyone up here, whether I play again or not, who knows, but for the future newcomers, there is no one any of us would rather play for than Captain McEnroe. As Reilly said, [he is] one of the biggest legends our sport has ever seen, one of the biggest personalities in a very, very good way our sport has ever seen.
“So this event has it all. I do think the World will get one of these eventually.”
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