On the second day of the Laver Cup in Vancouver, Team Welt builds after the victories of Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe, as well as a success in doubles, extended their comfortable lead to 10:2. Only Casper Ruud has been able to score points for Team Europe so far.
by Dietmar Kaspar
last edited: September 24, 2023, 9:02 a.m
© Getty Images
Even on day 2, Team World was unstoppable at the Laver Cup in Vancouver.
John McEnroe, as team captain of Team Welt, gave confidence to three US individual players on Day 2 of the Laver Cups. Taylor Fritz started the match by defeating Andrey Rublev 7:5, 6:4 in 90 minutes.
Casper Ruud was already under enormous pressure for Team Europe in the second singles of the day against Tommy Paul. The Norwegian started the match with a quick 4-1 lead, but had to accept the equalizer. In the tie-break, the 24-year-old was faced with a set point before he was able to win the first round. Inspired by winning the set, the world number 9. no longer stop. With the maximum yield of three break balls converted with as many chances in the match, Ruud won against No. 13 in the world rankings after 92 minutes with 7:6 (6), 6:2.
Following the encounter, the 3-time Grand Slam finalist, who had a total of 13 forehand winners in the match, commented: “I thought it was time to play maybe my best match of the season and that was it not far away today.” As a challenge to Team World, he added: “We are young, we are strong and ready for the rest of the weekend.”
Greeted by NBA legends Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash, Frances Tiafoe and Hubert Hurkacz started the last singles of the day. In the long, evenly balanced first set, Hurkacz suddenly had a set point when the score was 5:4 when Tiafoe was serving, but the Pole was unable to use it. In the eleventh game, the American took advantage of his first break chance and served out the first round without losing a point. In the second set, 25-year-old Tiafoe took advantage of the momentum and immediately took the first service game from his one-year-old counterpart. As a result, the world number 11 was able to. held his serve games and secured the 7:5, 6:3 win against the world number 16 after 1:32 hours of play with another break.
After the match, Tiafoe explained his role on the team: “I love team competitions and I just went out there to play for my boys.”
The day ended with the double encounter between local hero Felix Auger-Aliassime alongside US youngster Ben Shelton against Gael Monfils from France and the Pole Hubert Hurkacz. In two sets, Team World’s doubles team retained the upper hand 7:5, 6:4.
With a 10-2 lead, Team Welt only needs one win from the remaining four matches on the last matchday, where there are three points for every win, in order to successfully defend the title they won for the first time last year.
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