“It felt unbelievable to kick their ass, baby!” Team World win Laver Cup 13-2

Team World have won the 2023 Laver Cup, with Tiafoe/Shelton defeating Hurkacz/Rublev 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) in the opening match of day three to seal a 13-2 victory

Team World poses with the Laver Cup trophy Team World poses with the Laver Cup trophy

Team World have won the Laver Cup for a second year in a row, claiming the tournament 13-2 as Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton defeated Hubert Hurkacz and Andrey Rublev 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) in the first match of day three.

Heading into the final day of the 2023 Laver Cup trailing Team World by 2-10, Team Europe needed to clean-sweep the remaining four matches on day three in order to reclaim their title. However, despite putting their best foot forward, Hurkacz and Rublev could not get the job done against Team World, falling in two tight sets.

“It felt unbelievable to kick their ass, baby!” Team captain John McEnroe declared following the victory, which is only Team World’s second ever title, having lost the first four editions of the Laver Cup.

Tiafoe and Shelton get the job done in tight doubles clash

Play went down to the wire in the opening match of day three, with both sets of the doubles match between Frances Tiafoe/Ben Shelton and Hubert Hurkacz/Andrey Rublev going to tiebreaks.

With 24 games in a row of unbroken serving, it was the small moments that determined the victor. At 3-3 in the first tiebreak, John McEnroe could be heard telling Team World, “Go after it!” And go after it they did, winning four of the next five points to bag the first breaker.

In the second, it was a duel between Hurkacz’s brilliant net play and Shelton’s big ground strokes. Again, it came down to a tiebreaker, where this time McEnroe encouraged his steeds to “Stay calm, stay calm,” when the score read 3-3 at the change of ends.

Sure enough, Shelton boomed a big forehand and followed up with a second serve, seeing Team World come back from 4-5 to win the tiebreak 7-5 and claim the match.

Team World reaction to Laver Cup victory

“Unbelievable moments,” said Tiafoe after the match. “Being a part of that last year and clinching it last year was super exciting. To be able to do it again, super fun. Now it’s time to celebrate!”

With Shelton going unbeaten across the three matches he participated in, the American spoke highly of how the team environment has drawn the best out of him, saying, “It’s been crazy for me, I’ve enjoyed being in a team environment, playing for Johnny Mack. It’s easy for me to play when I’m amped up and hyped. Hope I’ve done a good job of hyping them up too.”

Team captain McEnroe, however, was quick to throw down a challenge to Team World, revelling in the victory:

“It felt unbelievable to kick their ass, baby! They’ve kicked ours many times. Last year it was a battle to the end,” said the tennis legend, referring to Team World’s come-from-behind victory at the 2022 Laver Cup.

“Great combination of youth and experience [this year]. I felt it from the word go, I thought all the guys played great. When everyone contributes it brings out the best in all of us. It’s nice when that happens,” continued McEnroe, before declaring, “I’ll take two in a row any day, I’m starting to think is it possible three in a row team world? Come on!”

Only time will tell, as Team World has some celebrating to do before they can plan their next campaign.

People in this post

Your comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *