U.S. Shows well for Team World
in the 2017 Laver Cup
E.J. Crawford | September 24, 2017
The inaugural Laver Cup was held Sept. 22-24 in in Prague, Czech Republic, with four Americans – John Isner, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe – joining with Australia's Nick Kyrgios and Canada's Denis Shapovalov, under coach John McEnroe, to take on Team Europe, led by Bjorn Borg and featuring Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev.
Here's a day-by-day breakdown of the action:
John Isner’s standout performance wasn’t enough to bring Team World back on the final day of the inaugural Laver Cup, with Team Europe prevailing in the end, 15-9.
Team World started the day trailing, 9-3, but pulled to within three points after the all-American tandem of Isner and Jack Sock teamed to defeat Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic, 7-6(5), 7-6(6). The victory was the second doubles win of the competition for Sock, who also paired with Nick Kyrgios to win the doubles on Day 1.
After Sascha Zverev defeated American Sam Querrey, 6-4, 6-4, to give Team Europe a 12-6 lead, Isner kept Team World’s hopes alive with a 7-5, 7-6(1) upset of world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the second singles match of the day.
Roger Federer, however, held off Kyrgios, 4-6, 7-6(6), [11-9], in the final match of the day to clinch the title for Team Europe.
Overall, Sock went 2-2 in the competition: 2-1 in doubles and 0-1 in singles, with his singles loss coming in a match tiebreak to Nadal on Day 2. Isner, meantime, completed his first Laver Cup at 2-1; in addition to his two victories on Day 3, he lost in a match tiebreak to world No. 7 Dominic Thiem on Day 1.
Querrey went 0-3, with singles losses to Federer and Zverev and a doubles defeat, alongside Sock, in a match tiebreak to Federer and Nadal on Day 2. The final American in the competition, Frances Tiafoe, went 0-1, falling to Cilic in a pair of tiebreaks on Day 1.
On Day 1, Jack Sock secured Team World’s lone point, in doubles with Nick Kyrgios. On Day 2, he nearly knocked out world No. 1 Rafael Nadal – twice – but the 2017 US Open champion escaped in a pair of super tiebreaks as Team Europe stretched its lead to 9-3.
Sock’s compatriot, newly minted American No. 1 Sam Querrey, opened the day’s play with a singles loss to Roger Federer, 6-4, 6-2.
Sock followed by taking on Nadal in the Spaniard’s first singles match since winning the US Open. The two traded the first two sets before Nadal squeaked out the super tiebreak for a 6-3, 3-6, [11-9] victory.
Kyrgios kicked off the evening session with a singles victory over Tomas Berdych, 4-6, 7-6(4), [10-6], setting up a highly anticipated doubles encounter featuring Federer and Nadal taking on Querrey and Sock – in the first time the two all-time leaders in Grand Slam singles titles have played doubles together.
Federer and Nadal played well out of the gate, taking the opening set, before Querrey and Sock blitzed through the second frame. The two future Hall of Famers steadied themselves in the match tiebreak, however, earning a 6-4, 1-6, [10-5] victory to complete another three-win day for Team Europe.
The Laver Cup wraps up on Sunday with four matches – the matchups are yet to be determined – with each victory counting for three points.
The Americans played well but it wasn’t enough to prevent Team Europe from pulling out to a 3-1 lead over Team World after Day 1.
Frances Tiafoe opened the day’s play against Marin Cilic, taking the world No. 5 and 2014 US Open champion to a pair of tiebreaks before falling, 7-6(3), 7-6(0).
The 19-year-old was followed by John Isner, who won a lengthy tiebreak to take the first set before succumbing in a match tiebreak against world No. 7 Dominic Thiem, 6-7(15), 7-6(2), [10-7].
And after Team World’s Denis Shapovalov fell to Sascha Zverev, also in a pair of tiebreaks, Jack Sock teamed with Nick Kyrgios to get Team World on the board, posting a 6-3, 6-7(7), [10-7] victory over Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych.
All matches on Day 2 will be worth two points each, giving Team World the opportunity to make up ground quickly with a strong showing.
Visit the Laver Cup website for more information.