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Isner and Shapovalov catch fire, Team World avoids Day 1 sweep with doubles win

John Isner and Denis Shapovalov caught fire to guide Team World to a doubles victory against Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev on Friday at Laver Cup.

John Isner at Cincinnati in 2021 John Isner at Cincinnati in 2021 ©

TEAM EUROPE 3, TEAM WORLD 1, AFTER FRIDAY

  • 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 and Denis Shapovalov d. Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev, 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-1

SHAPOVALOV AND ISNER (TEAM WORLD), D. BERRETTINI AND ZVEREV (TEAM EUROPE) 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-1

  • What happened: Team World earned a point in the final match of four on Day 1 at Laver Cup in Boston, as John Isner and Denis Shapovalov defeated Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini.
  • Why it matters: Team World avoids a Day 1 shutout and creeps back within two points of Team Europe after Friday’s action.
  • You will also learn: Why Team World is still very much alive in the Laver Cup, despite earning just one win on Friday.

Faced with a 4-0 deficit on Day 1 of Laver Cup, John Isner singlehandedly took control of the doubles point and rallied his teammate Denis Shapovalov to a rousing victory over Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini.

The American-Canadian duo were two games from defeat but managed to work their way into a second set tiebreaker before riding the momentum of a rowdy TD Garden crowd to victory on Friday night. Isner took command of the contest – both with his serve and his return – as Team World took 17 of the final 20 points to storm away with a much-needed 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-1 victory.

Isner: We’ll take our cuts tomorrow

“In an atmosphere like this it is easy to get pumped up,” Isner told the crowd after the win. “We were down 3-0. I kept telling Denis and Denis kept telling me, we have to out-energy these guys. We didn’t want to go down 4-0.”

Team World fell behind 3-0 on Friday as Team Europe got winning performances from Casper Ruud (d. Opelka), Matteo Berrettini (d. Auger-Aliassime) and Andrey Rublev (d. Schwartzman), so it was imperative for Isner and Shapovalov to make a statement.

“We’ve been in this situation before,” Isner said. “All of these guys on Europe, they are top-10 for a reason, they play the big points very well. We were just a little bit unlucky in singles. We’ll take our cuts tomorrow, we need good energy, a good atmosphere, and we’ll see what we can do.”

Saturday Order of Play

Day Session | 1PM EST

Stefanos Tsitsipas v Nick Kyrgios

Alexander Zverev v John Isner

Night Session | 7PM EST

Daniil Medvedev v Denis Shapovalov

Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas v John Isner and Nick Kyrgios

How Laver Cup scoring works

  • The event is played over three days. On Friday and Saturday, there is a day and night session followed by a final single day session on Sunday.
  • Each day four matches are played – three singles and a doubles.
  • Both singles and doubles are best of three sets with ad scoring. In the event of split sets, the third set is a 10-point match tiebreaker.
  • Each player competes in at least one singles match during the first two days.
  • No player can play singles more than twice during the three days.
  • At least four of the six players must play doubles. No doubles combination is played more than once, unless for the Decider on Day 3, if points are 12:12.
  • The winning team must reach 13 points.
  • In the event of a tie after all 12 matches are played, a final overtime doubles match – a Decider – is played as a regular set with ad scoring and a tiebreak.
  • Friday’s lineup is announced on Thursday afternoon | Saturday’s lineup is announced an hour after play ends on Friday night | Sunday’s lineup is announced an hour after play ends on Saturday night | Match-ups are determined through the exchange of lineup cards by the captains.
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