Europe is one triumph away from winning the Laver Cup for the fourth time in as many editions, since this team competition sponsored by Roger Federer was inaugurated in 2017. If Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev win this Sunday from 18:00 (Eurosport) to Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov, The Old Continent, which leads the competition by a resounding 11-1, will once again raise the trophy in an unprecedented beating of the Rest of the World, a squad that is only worth winning the four games, three goals per victory in the last day, to avoid defeat.
– Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 25, 2021
Stefanos Tsitsipas gave the first two points of the second day to the team captained by Bjorn Borg, who still said at the end, with a small mouth, “this is not over”. The Greek reaped an undeniable victory at the TD Garden in Boston against Australian Nick Kyrgios (6-3 and 6-4). Later, Alexander Zverev downed a combative John Isner (7-6 (5), 6-8 (6) and 10-5) to make it 7-1. Later, Daniil Medvedev mercilessly submitted Denis Shapovalov (6-4 and 6-0) and the doubles formed by Andrey Rublev and Tsitsipas culminated the European plenary session, the first in the history of the competition in one day, against Isner and Kyrgios (6 -7 (8), 6-3 and 10-4).
Few instructions had to give Borg to a Tsitsipas who handcuffed Kyrgios, who this time did not lack attitude but tennis to win the Athenian. Too serious for his usual standards, the Aussie did not know how to hurt an opponent who played with order and discipline, won 82% of points with first serves and did not concede a break in the entire match, although he had to save all six options available to Kyrgios. The great John McEnroe failed to instill morale the always complicated and unpredictable player from Canberra, outraged, as transmitted on social networks, with the situation in his country with respect to the coronavirus pandemic, with zero tolerance with COVID and constant lockdowns in the main cities.
Zverev shot down the giant Isner
– Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 25, 2021
A difficult comeback attempt awaited the Rest of the World, which the American Isner tried to initiate against a US Open semifinalist, Zverev. But the German is looking more and more set and stable, even in an exhibition like this that does not give points or ATP gains, although victories do count for history. “Honestly, I think I played a very good game against the best server ever,” said Sascha without false modesty. And he was right, because he had moments of great tennis against a fierce server like the American, who hit him 22 aces and was close to tracing an adverse score. His effort to hold out in the tiebreaker of the second set took its toll on the super tie-break of the third. Neither the spirits of the enthusiastic world bench nor those of the American public helped him to avoid another defeat for his team.
Little opposition encountered the Russian Medvedev, world number two and recent US Open champion, who passed over the Canadian Shapovalov in 75 minutes. “I played incredible tennis, especially in the second set,” Medvedev said. “I didn’t know what to expect because after the US Open, I didn’t play for a week and a half. I came here, I practiced as much as I could the last three days. I didn’t hit a lot of balls but surprisingly I felt good,” he added. The fact is that it cost him very little to subdue a rival without answers.
“I felt very privileged to have a guy like this next to me.”
– Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 26, 2021
Rublev and Tsitsipas complete a great day
In the doubles match, Rublev and Tsitsipas had to sweat a lot to beat the pair of servers and punchers formed by Isner and Kyrgios who took the lead after the tiebreaker in the first set. and then he couldn’t avoid the comeback and the biggest advantage for a team before the last day in the four-year history of the Laver Cup. “It took time to adjust. Andrey and I, I think it was the first time we played together, but definitely very happy with the quality of the tennis that we brought to the court in the second set and later, “said Tsitsipas. With effort and success, Rublev and the Athenian closed the brilliant day of Europe, which will be completed from 18:00 with the doubles between Rublev and Zverev and Opelka and Shapovalov, and three singles below, which in principle will be: Zverev-Auger-Aliassime, Medvedev-Schwartzman and Tsitsipas-Isner. The Rest of the World needs to make the biggest comeback possible. They only need to win the four games, an almost impossible mission.