Two-Time DC Champ Alexander Zverev Clinches Laver Cup for Team Europe
In another sensational performance, two-time Citi Open champion and German world No.7 Alexander Zverev (2017, 2018) outlasted 2014 DC champ Milos Raonic, 6-4, 3-6, 10-4, to clinch victory for Team Europe over Team World, 13-11, after three exciting days of play at the third-annual Laver Cup in Geneva, Switzerland.
Team Europe has now won the highly-coveted title all three years of the competition.
“It was an unbelievable weekend,” said Zverev, who got some extra encouragement from his fellow European teammates during the match. “Those guys [Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal] were screaming at me in the locker room before the Match Tiebreak, saying, this is how I could turn my season around. Without all of these guys on the bench, I couldn’t have done it. This is very special, especially playing in front of those guys and having them trust me to play the last match.”
With the victory, Zverev improved his record in Laver Cup competition to 5-1 in singles, while Raonic fell to 0-2. The former DC champ also tied his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Raonic at 2-2.
On Friday, Greek world No.7 and 2018 and 2019 Citi Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas scored the first win for Team Europe in singles in his Laver Cup debut. The 21-year-old Next-Gen star overcame American rising star Taylor Fritz, in a thrilling Supertiebreak, 6-2, 1-6, 10-7, but on Saturday, Team World struck back.
With sensational shotmaking, reigning Citi Open champion Nick Kyrgios and four-time Grand Slam doubles champ and Olympic Gold medalist Jack Sock defeated Tsitsipas and reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6, in doubles to shrink Team Europe’s lead to 7-5 heading into the final day of competition.
Still, Team World needed to win three of the four remaining matches in order to take the Cup for the first time, and on Sunday almost succeeded.
In a stunning comeback, Fritz upset Austrian world No.5 Dominic Thiem, 7-5, 6-7(3), 10-5, and Sock and American No.1 John Isner rallied to defeat Tsitsipas and Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, 5-7, 6-4, 10-8, taking an 11-7 lead, and putting Team World’s first Laver Cup just a match within reach.
But with the advantage of an exuberant, sold-out, hometown crowd on his side, Federer kept Team Europe's title defense alive with a 6-4, 7-6(3) victory over Isner, extending his undefeated record at the event to 6-0, while Isner dropped to 2-4.
”I’m very excited. What an atmosphere and what a match,” said Federer after. “I’m thrilled that I was able to give something back to the team after a tough Match Tiebreak [in doubles] earlier today. Team Europe has been amazIng. They’ve fought so hard and played so well.”
At the conclusion of the event, it was announced that the 2020 Laver Cup will be held in Boston, Massachusetts. While the player rosters have yet to be announced, Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg and Team World captain John McEnroe confirmed they will reprise their roles at next year’s Cup.