Thiem, Sock Secure Wins On Opening Day At Laver Cup

Dominic Thiem put Team Europe in front at the Laver Cup

GENEVA, September 20, 2019

Team Europe and Team World are tied at 1-1 after Friday’s Day Session of the Laver Cup held at Palexpo in Geneva. Dominic Thiem opened the action with a hard-fought win over Denis Shapovalov from Canada.

The World No. 5 from Austria struck 10 aces, winning 73 per cent of his first service games and needed to save three match points to secure a 6-4, 5-7, 13-11 victory in one hour and 46 minutes.

“The atmosphere and the emotions were outstanding. It was really unbelievable. Honestly, I never heard something louder in my life than when Roger entered the court before the match. It was unbelievable. Then the atmosphere in the match was also great,” said Thiem, who celebrated his third win over the Canadian in as many meetings between the two.

“Both of us are not at the top of our game, that’s for sure, but the match was super exciting because it was pretty close all the time. Especially in this format with the match tiebreak, very little things decide. I’m happy that I was able to give the first point to my team and to gain some confidence, as I haven’t played well in recent times.”

Illness affected the Austrian’s performance during the US Open, where he fell in the first round to Thomas Fabbiano of Italy. Last week, Thiem suffered a shocking defeat against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in the Davis Cup Play-Offs.

“I am not at 100 per cent yet,” he told a group of German-speaking journalists. “Today’s performance was much better than at the Davis Cup. I also feel better during practice. I fought very well today, showed a good body language but I will still need some time to get back to my best. I hope that this will be the case at the Masters in Shanghai or in Vienna.”

Sock earns first match win of the season

Later in the afternoon, Jack Sock defeated Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-6(3). The World No. 210 from the United States, who has only played five singles matches this season, saved all six break points he faced and converted two of his own four chances to prevail after one hour and 29 minutes.

“We should have won the first match, so we needed to bounce back,” said Team World Captain John McEnroe. “Jack played awesome, he took it to Fabio. He’s a great ball striker. We feel great right now.” 

It has been Sock’s first match win in singles since reaching the quarterfinals at the Paris Masters last year.

“It’s been a long road back,” said Sock. “I’m sure everybody here is surprised I won a singles match. I had thumb surgery in February and was out for almost six months. For some reason Laver Cup seems to bring the best tennis out of everyone here. I’ve played great singles before, so I know it’s in me, but it’s an amazing feeling to bring it out today playing for these guys, not just myself.”

In Friday’s night session Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece will take on US-American Taylor Fritz followed by the doubles rubber headlined by home favourite Roger Federer and Germany’s Alexander Zverev. They will face Shapovalov and Sock.