Laver Cup: Team Europe takes charge on Day 2

  • Matt Trollope

Team Europe swept all four Laver Cup matches in a dominant Saturday for the visiting team at Boston’s TD Garden.

Leading 3-1 as the second day of competition began, Team Europe stretched its lead to 9-1 following singles victories for Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev.

And when Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev combined to beat John Isner and Nick Kyrgios in a match tiebreak late on Saturday night, the score read 11-1 – the biggest lead at the end of Day 2 in the event’s four-year history.

Team Europe needs to win just one of the four matches scheduled on Sunday – match wins are worth three points on the final day – to hoist its fourth straight Laver Cup.

Medvedev, the recent US Open champion, was especially authoritative, dismantling Denis Shapovalov 6-4 6-0 in an efficient, controlled display.

"Honestly I played unbelievable, especially the second set," said Medvedev, a winner of 16 of his past 17 matches.

"I didn’t know what to expect, because after US Open I didn’t play for a week and a half, came here, practised as much as I could last three days. So I didn’t hit as many balls, but was surprisingly feeling well.

"(At) first it was not easy, the ball was not going as fast as I wanted, he was playing really good. And then, yeah, just couldn’t miss a ball anymore (laughter). I’m really happy about it."

Isner came closest to clinching two important points for Team World, only for Zverev to deny him in their tightly-contested match.

The fourth-ranked Zverev unleashed 13 aces and 19 winners off the ground, while keeping his unforced error tally to just eight, in his 7-6(5) 6-7(6) [10-5] victory.

"To be honest, I played a pretty good match," said Zverev, who like Medvedev was in sparkling form and has now won in 17 of his last 18 outings.

“Honestly I played unbelievable, especially the second set ... just couldn’t miss a ball anymore (laughter). I’m really happy about it.”
Daniil Medvedev

"Even the second set that I lost, I don’t think I did many things wrong. So that just shows that the match was very high level.

"And I’m obviously happy to give Europe the lead now."

Tsitsipas opened Saturday’s play with a mostly-comfortable win over Nick Kyrgios, saving five break points late in the second set to finish it 6-3 6-4.

"Coming in with a negative record, of course you want to change that and get a win, at least, which I’m very happy about," said Tsitsipas after scoring his first win over the Australian in three attempts.

"It took a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication during that match. It was quite nerve-wracking as well.

"I did find ways to close it with the best possible way."

The defeat left 95th-ranked Kyrgios in a contemplative mood. "I’m soaking up every moment out here at this special event … I’m not taking anything for granted to be here again," he said.

"I’m not saying it’s my last Laver Cup, but I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around tennis. So it was just great. I took every moment in today."

Both Tsitsipas and Kyrgios returned to the court for the final doubles match, and in an entertaining encounter, Tsitsipas, alongside Rublev, notched a 6-7(8) 6-3 [10-4] triumph over Kyrgios and Isner.