Ruthless Daniil Medvedev dispatches Denis Shapovalov to give Team Europe commanding Laver Cup advantage
Daniil Medvedev turned on the jets and raced away from Denis Shapovalov to notch a dominant Laver Cup victory in his first appearance since winning the US Open.
TEAM EUROPE 9, TEAM WORLD 1, AFTER SATURDAY’S THIRD 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 and Denis Shapovalov d. Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev, 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-1
- Match 1: Stefanos Tsitsipas d. Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4
- Match 2: Alexander Zverev d. John Isner 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 10-5
- Match 3: Daniil Medvedev d. Denis Shapovalov, 6-4, 6-0
MEDVEDEV (TEAM EUROPE), D. SHAPOVALOV (TEAM WORLD) 6-4, 6-0
- What happened: Daniil Medvedev broke open a close contest against Denis Shapovalov and ran away to a comfortable straight sets win.
- Why it matters: Team Europe continue to dominate proceedings at Laver Cup, and now lead 9-1 with one match remaining to be played on Saturday evening.
- You will also learn: Why Team World desperately needs a doubles win to stay alive in the competition.
Denis Shapovalov was giving 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev a run for his money on Saturday night in Boston, but the Russian flicked a switch at four-all in the opening set and turned a tense affair into the most lopsided contest of this year’s Laver Cup.
The world No 2 reeled off the final nine games to notch a 6-4, 6-0 triumph that puts Team World one step closer to Laver Cup bragging rights for a fourth consecutive year.
Medvedev: I didn’t know what to expect after US Open
Medvedev entered the match with a 1-2 lifetime record against Shapovalov, and he needed a few games to hit his stride, but once he got his tactics worked out he was absolutely phenomenal.
“Honestly, I played unbelievable,” said Medvedev on court after the match. “Especially the second set. I didn’t know what to expect because after US Open I didn’t play for a week and a half. I came here, practiced as much as I could the last three days. I didn’t hit as many balls, but surprisingly, was feeling well.”
Medvedev admitted that it took him a bit to find his range.
“At first it was not easy, the ball was not going as fast as I wanted,” he said. “He was playing really good, and then, yeah, I just couldn’t miss a ball anymore – I’m really happy about it.”
Medvedev dominated all facets
The Russian won 29 of 43 points in the second set and won 9 of 10 points that lasted more than four shots. He dropped only 11 points on serve over the course of the 75-minute contest and converted four of his eight break point opportunities.
At 3-4 in the opening set Medvedev hit a 128-MPH service winner at deuce. Medvedev won 10 of the final 11 points to take the set, and from that point on he never dropped a game.
He finished with 14 winners against 12 unforced errors on the night, to go with four aces.
Team World hopes for another doubles point
With Europe holding a 9-1 lead, Team World will need to win tonight or be forced to win all four matches on Sunday to survive.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev will take on John Isner and Nick Kyrgios in the final match of Saturday, which is worth two points.
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.