Europe’s on top of the world! Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev defeat Opelka and Shapovalov to clinch Laver Cup
Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev clinched the 2021 Laver Cup for Team Europe on Sunday in Boston as they notched a close victory over Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov.
- What happened: Team Europe clinched its fourth Laver Cup title as Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev took out Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov in Sunday’s opening match.
- Why it matters: Team Europe continue to dominate the Laver Cup, they have won all four editions of the competition.
- You will also learn: How Team Europe used success in the “Laver breaker” to dominate the Laver Cup.
TEAM EUROPE 14, TEAM WORLD 1, AFTER SUNDAY’S FIRST MATCH
- Match 1: Casper Ruud d. Reilly Opelka, 6-3, 7-6(4)
- Match 2: Matteo Berrettini d. Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-7(3), 7-5, 10-8
- Match 3: Andrey Rublev d. Diego Schwartzman, 4-6, 6-3, 11-9
- Match 4: John Isner /Denis Shapovalov d. Matteo Berrettini / Alexander Zverev, 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-1
- Match 5: Stefanos Tsitsipas d. Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4
- Match 6: Alexander Zverev d. John Isner 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 10-5
- Match 7: Daniil Medvedev d. Denis Shapovalov, 6-4, 6-0
- Match 8: Stefanos Tsitsipas/ Andrey Rublev d. John Isner and Nick Kyrgios 6-7, 6-3, 10-4
Match 9: Alexander Zverev / Andrey Rublev d. Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov, 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-3
Team Europe is on top of the world once again. Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev took the final doubles point of the 2021 Laver Cup to clinch the title at TD Garden in Boston.
In front of a high-energy crowd, Opelka and Shapovalov did all they could to make a match of it. The American-Canadian duo played a strong second set and brought the crowd into it when Opelka served his way out of a 0-40 hole in the fifth game of the set. From there the teams marched to a second-set tiebreak, which Opelka and Shapovalov claimed.
But Team World’s luck would run out in the super tiebreak, as it has all weekend.
Dominance in the “Laver breaker”
The competition could have been a lot closer, but time and time again Team Europe dominated the super tiebreaks, winning five of six, including two on Saturday for two points each and today’s clincher, worth three points.
“Obviously a lot of matches went to the champion’s breaker and a lot of matches could have gone both ways,” Zverev said on court after his team locked up the title. “We won most of those matches. At the end of the day the score says 14-1 but it could have gone both ways a lot of the times. I think we’re all extremely happy, we had a lot of hard work for this victory throughout the whole week.”
“This team has been absolutely amazing,” said Zverev. “I think a lot of us came much closer together and to be honest I can’t wait for London next year.”
Rublev undefeated in doubles and 3-0 overall
Andrey Rublev played magnificently on the doubles court over the last two nights, and finishes the weekend with a record of 3-0. On Saturday night he paired with Stefanos Tsitsipas to defeat John Isner and Nick Kyrgios in a Laver tiebreak, and today he was strong once again, paired with Zverev in the clincher. On Friday he won his only singles match of this year’s Laver Cup, also in a super tiebreak, 4-6, 6-3, 11-9, over Diego Schwartzman.
“It’s been a pleasure to be with Bjorn and Tomas behind our back,” Rublev said, referring to Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg and assistant captain Thomas Enqvist. “It’s been a pleasure and we cannot wait to play in London next year.”