The Runner Sports

Team Europe Wins Laver Cup 15-9

Led by Bjorn Borg, Team Europe held off the late surge from Team World to win the Laver Cup 15-9. This was the inaugural year of the event, which will be held in Chicago next year. A team consisted of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Alex Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, and Tomas Berdych went into this team formatted grudge the clear favorites; their lowest ranked teammate is still in the top 20, while Team World’s lowest ranked player is just outside the top 70. Team World was made up of Sam Querrey, John Isner, Jack Sock, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, and Frances Tiafoe, and captained by John McEnroe.

For those that missed the event, here is how the format worked: there were 12 matches played throughout the three days, and the scoring was best of three sets with the final set being a 10-point tiebreak. The first team to 13 points won, and the points were equal to the day of the event. If there was a tie at the conclusion of the event, a one-set doubles match would have decided the winner. Each day featured three singles matches and one doubles match. Only four out of the six players had to compete in doubles; no two players could compete with each other twice, unless the deciding tiebreaker match is needed.

Although Team Europe were the heavy favorites, the matches were highly contested, coming down to a few points in each match. Team Europe dominated days one and two, winning three out of the four matches, but on the final day, Team World dug deep and made a real comeback. Isner kept Team World in contention with a 7-5, 7-6 win over Nadal, thriving in the team atmosphere environment like when he played collegiate tennis. This win was actually Isner’s first win over Nadal. Kyrgios nearly took the competition to a deciding one-set doubles match, but was closely loss to Federer 4-6, 7-6, (11-9).

The competition was filled with entertainment and drama. All the players took each match seriously and knew they had to show up with their best tennis. Hopefully, next year Team World will be able to represent a lot more nations than just the three that were on display this time around. The team format brought fans the highly anticipated doubles team of Nadal and Federer to fruition. Team World delivered on the competitiveness level with their team celebrations and spirit, willing their teammates on until the end. An interesting event that gets an A for entertainment and the idea to grow the sport’s reputation, next year should be just as good.

Conrad Ellis

Conrad Ellis

Stevenson University graduate, class of 2016
Played tennis for 14 years and counting, favorite shot is forehand
Conrad Ellis