Laver Cup: Team Europe leads despite shock defeat for Roger Federer-Novak Djokovic
Kevin Anderson and Jack Sock spoiled the doubles debut of Federer and Djokovic but Team Europe still led Team World 3-1 after the first day of the Laver Cup 2018.
David Goffin, Grigor Dimitrov, and Kyle Edmund all won their opening singles matches Friday to give Team Europe a commanding 3-0 lead going into the evening’s final match.
Team World’s Anderson and Sock needed a tiebreaker to defeat the doubles dream team of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic 6-7, 6-3, 10-6. Anderson and Sock won the tiebreaker after Federer double-faulted to give Team World a key 5-4 lead.
Earlier in the day, Europe’s Dimitrov cruised past Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-4, David Goffin saved 2-points to outlast Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 4-6, 11-9 and Edmund toppled World’s Jack Sock 6-4, 5-7, 10-6.
This is the second installment of the Laver Cup which has been dubbed the Ryder Cup of tennis even if it lacks the tradition of golf’s premier team event.
The exhibition is taking place on US soil for the 1st time and features 12 of the world’s top players squaring off against each other in a 3-day showcase which wraps up Sunday in Chicago.
The format calls for shorter matches. If the player’s gap sets, they go straight to a 10-point tiebreaker. On Saturday, wins will be worth 2-points each instead of one.
Dimitrov used his exactness backhand to keep Tiafoe off balance as he closed out the match with his 10th and the final ace. The Bulgarian hammered 27 winners to just 7 for Tiafoe.
“It’s pretty nice to play indoors — no sun, no wind,” Dimitrov said. “When you get in a better rhythm you just want to follow it. I think today that’s what I did.”
Bjorn Borg’s favored Team Europe are trying to defend their crown against Team World which is captained by the legendary John McEnroe.
Federer, Djokovic, Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Goffin and Edmund make up Team Europe. Federer played in the first Laver Cup but Novak Djokovic is taking part for the first time.
Sock, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Tiafoe, Anderson, and Schwartzman are representing Team World.
The event is named in the esteem of tennis legend Rod Laver, who won a record 200 singles tennis event, 11 Grand Slams and 5 Davis Cups for Australia.