Team Europe Wins Laver Cup By A Landslide

Team Europe wins the 2021 Laver Cup in Boston (photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

BOSTON/WASHINGTON, September 27, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

After running the table by going four-for-four during Saturday’s Day Two of the 2021 Laver Cup competition in Boston, Mass., Team Europe returned to the scene of their multiple triumphs a day later needing to win just one of four Day Three matches on Sunday.

Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev, two of the Top Five singles players in the world who had been solid if not spectacular throughout the first two days of the three-day event in both singles and doubles, were tapped by Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg to put Team Europe over the threshold.

They did just that and, maybe, a little something extra. Rublev and Zverev were hungry and they dominated their one hour and 35 minute match – giving a masterclass, if you will – before another large crowd that packed TD Garden.

Rublev and Zverev wrapped up Team Europe’s fourth straight Laver Cup with their 6-2, 6-7 (4), 10-3 victory over Team World’s Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov. It gave Team Europe three more points for a 14-1 lead, which eclipsed the 13 points needed to win the Laver Cup trophy. Since losing the Friday night doubles match at the end of Day One, Team Europe won five straight matches to close out the fourth edition of the annual competition.

The remaining three singles matches on Sunday’s order of play would not be needed to determine the winner and were called off, replaced by an exhibition doubles skirmish pitting Daniil Medvedev and Casper Ruud of Team Europe against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Diego Schwartzman of Team World to give the fans their money’s worth.

Leave it to Rublev, who kept things happy and loose during his on-court interview after clinching the Laver Cup for Team Europe. After all, in Friday’s opening match, he beat Schwartzman, 4-6, 6-3, 11-9, then teamed with Stefanos Tsitsipas to beat John Isner and Nick Kyrgios, 6-7 (8), 6-3, 10-4, on Saturday. Rublev paired with Zverev on Sunday and the two promptly went out and got the job done. They won, again.

“I was thinking I’m one of the worst ones in doubles, that I can only shoot forehands and that’s it. But it looks like I can play doubles really well,” said Rublev, showing a sense of humor. “It’s been amazing. It’s been a pleasure to be with these guys, with Bjorn [Borg] and Thomas Enqvist] behind our back. It was a pleasure.”

Rublev and Zverev broke out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set and later took advantage of a couple of unforced errors by Shapovalov early during the match tie-break. They never look back. Team Europe won five of the six match tie-breaks during this year’s Laver Cup.

Zverev said a lot of the matches this weekend could have gone either way, “and we won most of those matches.

“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,” Zverev added.

Afterward, Borg praised his team. “I’m very proud, of course, to defend the title. They played great tennis.

“Of course, Team World, they have the home advantage here but …. we have a good relationship, both teams. They’re going to play each other so many times. … I love this team. What can you say? It’s been great tennis.”

Soon, there were Champagne showers in the winning team’s locker room.

Looking back, Team World’s Isner put things in perspective during his team’s news conference. “This is not an exhibition, we care deeply about this event and it sucks that we’ve lost every year but this event is super special,” he said.

Added Team World’s captain, John McEnroe: “We gave it our best but they were too good.”

Next year’s Laver Cup will take place in London at the O2 Arena on September 23-25.