Team Europe on Friday took a 3-1 lead over Team World on the first day of the Laver Cup after winning two of three singles matches and the doubles contest in front of a sellout crowd in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas won their respective singles matches before Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev teamed up in the doubles, saving a whopping 15 of 16 break points to beat Jack Sock and Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-5.
“All of us tennis players travel around the world for 10 to 11 months of the year,” Federer said. “There’s no place like playing at home, so this is a very special night for me.”
Greek Tsitsipas, ranked seventh in the world, began the evening session with a 6-2, 1-6, 10-7 win over Taylor Fritz of the US, claiming the opening set in 24 minutes with two breaks of serve.
Although Fritz battled back in the second, winning six of the next seven games to level the score, Tsitsipas capitalized when Fritz double-faulted at 7-7 in the super tiebreak — a race to 10 points when the match goes into a third set.
“I think the momentum changed in the third-set tiebreak,” Tsitsipas said. “I found my rhythm, had a more clear mind on the court, didn’t rush so much. I think that played a crucial role in closing it at the end.”
Earlier, in the first session, Europe struck first when Austria’s Thiem beat Canada’s Shapovalov 6-4, 5-7, 13-11, saving three match points in the super tiebreak.
World No. 5 Thiem needed only one break of serve to take the opening set, but the 20-year-old Shapovalov fought back to break twice in the second set to tie the game at one set apiece.
The young Canadian led 9-7 in the tiebreak before squandering his match points as Thiem clawed his way back to win the contest on his second match point.
The US’ Sock earned Team World their only point of the day after securing a 6-1, 7-6 (3) win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini.
Fognini failed to convert any of his six break points in the match as Sock won five games in a row to take the opening set.
Sock took the match after Fognini double-faulted at 3-5 before the Italian made a backhand error to surrender the match.
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