There was so much to love about the Laver Cup, and its enormous success once again proved why this is an unique and captivating spot on the ATP calendar. Much of the buzz—and deservedly so—belonged to the dynamic duo of Roger Federer Rafael Nadal, mostly for their fascinating coaching and genuine admiration and friendly affection for each other.
Fans just couldn’t get enough. But let’s not forget that Team World came the closest they’ve ever gotten to a surprise victory, although John McEnroe conceded Team Europe’s dominance at the Cup in his hilarious speech.
And it was no slam dunk on the final day, with Team World clocking in the first two victories on Sunday, forcing the penultimate matchup against two world No.
3’s, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev. ‘Sascha’ of course spurred Team Europe to a narrow victory, but this year was incredibly close and gives McEnroe’s team inspiration to try to take the Cup away from Europe once they play on home turf in Boston.
This year’s Laver Cup was a tennis fan’s dream, but there were two standout moments on the part of Team World that makes me think that TW will breakthrough even further next year once the event takes place at TD Garden, home to NHL’s Bruins.
Hopefully team captain John McEnroe will retain Taylor Fritz, who pulled the surprise win on the final day of this year’s LC, increasing World’s lead for the first time. Although World had begun the final match day last year in the very same spot, it was the American’s unexpected win over top player Dominic Thiem that put them in the best position they’ve ever been in.
Even McEnroe didn’t seem to believe he could pull off the win, but the 21-year-old proved that he could handle the pressure, by pushing Thiem to three sets, and ultimately, getting the hard-fought win for World. It’s been a remarkable year for the world No.
30, who also achieved his first ATP title at Eastbourne.
“That was a big match for Team World.
We really needed that win. To let my team down the first day and contribute to the team today and give them the win means so much to me,” Fritz said in his on court interview. “This has to be one of the biggest wins of my career.
You’re usually just playing for yourself, but it means so much when you’re playing for other people”. Laver Cup will also be remembered for Jack Sock’s resilience. He played four matches—one singles and three doubles, winning three out of four of them, including a surprise singles victory over Fabio Fognini on Day 1.
Sock’s had a difficult year coming back from thumb surgery, but he achieved his first singles victory during that crucial match on the first day. He followed up that incredible milestone with pushing World into the lead in the first doubles match on Sunday.
Considering his impressive doubles winning record at LC, he has proved time and time again, that he’s the clutch player for World in the pivotal doubles matches.
Despite the loss, Team World has a lot going for them when they head to Boston in 2020.
#29: Jack Sock again proved to be the MVP for Team World, despite his poor year in singles, as he got them their second ever Laver Cup lead in the doubles with John Isner 👏 pic.twitter.com/PV6fqIZSLn — Rashmi 🌿 (@drivevolleys) September 23, 2019
John Isner and Sock are a force to be reckoned with in doubles, Nick Kyrgios is too good (both as a player and cheerleader) to give up (despite his temporary ATP ban), and Fritz proved he comes through in a bind (just like Zverev for Team Europe).
Home support will also help them. John McEnroe should also recruit Daniil Medvedev, although scheduling might be difficult since he will probably want to defend his title at St. Petersburg, which takes place at the same time.
The Laver Cup will occur in Boston in 2020, continuing the tournament’s tradition of bringing a big tennis event to cities where the sport isn’t emphasized. The last professional tennis title in Boston was an ATP Finals in 1999.
The three-day tournament will be a welcome addition to one of the most beautiful cities in America, where the International Tennis Hall of Fame is also close by.