Considering the momentum which Team Europe had generated during the first two days of the Laver Cup to sweep into a 11-1 lead over Team World, it wasn’t surprising to see the visitors clinch overall victory with the first match played on the final day.
The group of this team has been absolutely amazing. I think a lot of us came a lot closer together and to be honest I can’t wait for London next year Alexander Zverev
Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev clinched a comprehensive victory when they defeated Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov 6-2 6-7(4) 10-3 to retain the Laver Cup for a fourth time having not relinquished the trophy since it was first played in 2017 with last year’s edition cancelled by the Covid pandemic.
With 3 points per win on the final day, the Team Europe pairing pushed the score past the 13-point mark which was the finish line, making the 14-1 triumph the biggest margin of victory since the competition’s inception, bearing in mind three were three more matches to play.
Conversely it was the worst defeat suffered by Team World.
Even in the absence of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Team Europe produced an impressive line-up with the six team members called up, all ranked in the world’s top ten.
Germany’s Zverev and Russian Rublev were joined on Team Europe this year by US Open champion Daniil Medvedev of Russia, French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini of Italy and Casper Ruud of Norway.
Team World included Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, John Isner of the US and Nick Kyrgios of Australia with the Canadian being their highest ranked player at 11.
“I’m a proud captain. I’m proud of my team, what you guys did. To spend a week with you together, it’s amazing,” Team Europe Captain Bjorn Borg said during the final trophy ceremony. “It’s an honour and it’s a great feeling.”
Team World faced a daunting task when they arrived at TD Garden in Boston for the third day of action, knowing they had to win all four matches to claim the trophy. Opelka and Shapovalov battled hard to win the second set of the opening rubber and put pressure on their opponents, but they were unable to finish the job.
“A lot of matches could have gone both ways and we won most of those matches,” Zverev said in the on-court interview. “At the end of the day, the score says that it was 14-1, but it could have gone both ways a lot of the time.
“I think we’re all extremely happy. We [did] a lot of hard work for this victory throughout the whole week. The guys have been amazing. The group of this team has been absolutely amazing. I think a lot of us came a lot closer together and to be honest I can’t wait for London next year.”
Rublev added: “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.”
Next year the Laver Cup is set for late November at the O2 in London,