Cerundolo makes it two from two for Team World with win on Laver Cup debut
Franciso Cerundolo has extended Team World’s lead on day one of the Laver Cup, defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-5
Team World vs Team Europe: 2-0
The match began in tense fashion, with Davidovich Fokina pressuring Cerundolo’s serve early in the opening set, and looking the sharper of the two to start. However, in what wound up being a real rollercoaster match, the Argentine was too much for his opponent, who was called in as a last minute replacement, winning 6-3, 7-5.
“To play here in front of Roger [Federer], John [McEnroe], Bjorn [Borg], it’s amazing. I should be watching them,” said a beaming Cerundolo after his victory.
Cerundolo holds off Davidovich Fokina surges to win first set
In a clash between two Laver Cup debutants, albeit ones more established on the ATP Tour than the first pair on court today, it was Alejandro Davidovich Fokina who had the first opportunities to break.
After both held their opening service games, at 1-1 a botched forehand volley into the net by Cerundolo on his serve saw Davidovich Fokina have a look at a break point. The Spaniard was unable to capitalise, receiving several more to no avail before Cerundolo was able to close out the game.
Immediately after thwarting his opponent’s break opportunities, Cerundolo himself pounced on a wayward game from Davidovich Fokina. Quickly, the Argentinian raced out to 5-2 with a double break—one that would wind up being necessary, as Cerundolo failed to serve out the set on his first opportunity.
Serving at 5-3, this time the 25-year-old made no mistake, closing out the first set 6-3 to get Team World one step closer to a 2-0 lead.
Mercurial second set sees seven breaks of serve
If the first set was up and down, then this was just a precursor to the second, which was truly a rollercoaster.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina immediately struck back, racing out to a 2-0 lead and looking like a different player, with some excellent passing shots to combat his opponent’s constant net rushes. As quickly as the Spaniard gained a lead, he lost it, dropping his next two service games and falling behind 3-2.
Just as Cerundolo looked to be grabbing the match by the scruff of the neck, the Argentina suffered a brief lapse of concentration, allowing Davidovich Fokina back into the match at 3-3. This was to be the story of the second set, as Cerundolo kept edging ahead, before letting Davidovich Fokina back into it.
Eventually, the Argentine was able to deal the killer blow, with his crushing forehands returns, deft drop shots and persistent depth proving too much for the world No 25. On his second opportunity to serve for the match, Cerundolo did enough to close out the match 6-3, 7-5.
“Super fun to play here, I really enjoyed. I think I played really well. I felt comfortable since the start of the match,” said the Laver Cup debutant after the match, before revealing the influence John McEnroe has had on him this week:
“I’m trying to learn from John as much as I can, he’s giving me some tips. To be honest I went to the net a lot of times, I never go. I saw John there, and I tried to copy him a little bit. I hope he’s happy with my volleys.”
The victory sees Team World dominate the opening session of day one of the Laver Cup, winning both singles matches for a 2-0 lead.
At Laver Cup all of Friday’s matches are worth one point, Saturday’s matches are worth two points, while all of Sunday’s matches will be worth three.