It took Team World just one match on the third and final day of the Laver Cup to seal a comprehensive 13-2 victory over Team Europe and retain the trophy for a second consecutive year, and this time with three matches to spare which were abandoned.
For John McEnroe, the team captain, it was a moment to cherish having turned the tables on his rival Bjorn Borg, his counterpart, who had led his team to four consecutive wins prior to losing for the first time, last year.
Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz and Russia’s Andrey Rublev failed to extend the competition when they lost 7-6(4) 7-6(5) to Ben Sheldon and Frances Tiafoe in Vancouver, Canada, no doubt to the great disappointment of those spectators attending.
But one can understand McEnroe’s delight following the virtual whitewash, exclaiming: “We kicked some a,,,e, baby!. That’s what we did!”
And he is already looking ahead to next year when the event returns to Europe and be staged in Berlin, Germany as he intends to keep the run rolling.
“We’re already thinking about next year because, you know, winning is a whole lot better than losing. We struggled the first couple years, and now we have tasted winning, and it feels good. Thank you, boys.
“It’s amazing to come back winning after last year,” he continued. “We all got to celebrate last year, and it was so much fun. It was one of my top memories since I have played tennis. We all wanted that again this year, and we got it. It’s great to go back-to-back, and now we all want to come back next year and do it all again. It’s just different as opposed to when you’re on the tour playing by yourself and you win something. It’s just not the same as this. When you win something with all these guys and all your close friends, you get to celebrate it. You get to enjoy it a lot more.”
He reiterated his belief in the event by concluding: “A team event like this I think is not only good for the sport, it’s good for the players in a way that they are able to sort of get together and rally around. Because a lot of tournaments, it’s like an unwritten rule, you can’t root for anyone, you’ve just got to worry about yourself. These team events take even more importance in my mind, to be able to do this and do it successfully, and that’s what we proved this year.”
Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime and Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo were the only non-Americans in the team which otherwise featured all American players, namely Taylor Fritz, Ben Sheldon. Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul.
“Like Mac said, to win is the best feeling,” Auger Aliassime said. “It’s nice a year later after what we had done in London to come back and win here in Vancouver. That’s what we wanted a week ago when we arrived. We did it. We backed it up and stepped up to the challenge and made it happen.”