The Laver Cup: 2019 Tournament Review
Here, Tennishead rewinds to take a look at the 2019 Laver Cup tournament as it returned to Europe in the Swiss city of Geneva.
2019 Laver Cup Day One
Switzerland welcomed fans to the tournament’s third go-around at the Palexpo from 20-22 September 2019. The opening rubber was a singles match between world number five Dominic Thiem and world number 33 Denis Shapovalov.
Both men had taken part in the inaugural event of 2017, before being absent from the 2018 staging. Thiem claimed the opener 6-4 before Shapovalov responded to secure the second 7-5. The drama really surfaced in the deciding tiebreak, as at 7-9 Shapovalov saw himself with two match points.
After Thiem saved one match point on the Shapovalov serve, the Austrian saved the second with a bullet forehand off of a weak return from the Canadian, bringing the score to 9-9. Thiem then failed to convert a match point of his own at 10-9, and then Shapovalov also failed to see it out at 11-10.
Thiem finally won the match when a Shapovalov forehand sailed into the net. 1-0 Team Europe.
In the second tie, world number 11 Fabio Fognini of Italy faced captain’s pick and world number 210 Jack Sock. Though the favourite on paper due to his superior ranking, Fognini could not live with Sock to start with on the court, the American winning the opening set 6-1.
ALSO READ: The Laver Cup: 2017 Tournament Review
A far closer second set required a tiebreak to separate the two men, but the American still walked out the victor in straight sets, claiming the tiebreak 7-3 and levelling the score to 1-1 in the tournament overall.
To wrap up the day’s singles matches, Laver Cup debutants Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz took to the court in what would proved to be a match of very different sets.
A double break for Tsitsipas saw him claim the opening set 6-2 in just 25 minutes, before Fritz responded in kind to secure the second 6-1 in just over half an hour.
The ensuing match tiebreak brought the score to a level 7-7, before Tsitsipas took advantage to win out 10-7 and bring Team Europe back into the lead, 2-1.
The first doubles of the 2019 event had Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev taking on Denis Shapovalov and Jack Sock. What looked to be an evenly matched doubles contest saw the Europeans win out rather straightforwardly, claiming it in straight sets 6-3, 7-5.
2019 Laver Cup Day Two
The first match-up of day two was a showdown between Alexander Zverev and John Isner. The two men had faced out at last year’s Laver Cup also, with Zverev triumphing on that occasion.
A tight opening set brought up a tiebreak, which Zverev took control of to win 7-2. It looked as though history would repeat itself. But Isner held firm in the second set, securing a single break at 4-4 before serving out the set to bring up a match tiebreak.
From there the American was ruthless, winning the first seven points before seeing it out 10-1 to claim victory, reversing the previous year’s result. the overall tournament score was all tied up at 3-3.
For the third year running Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios did battle at the Laver Cup next. This time around, Kyrgios would not slump to a straight sets defeat as in 2018.
After trading breaks in the opener, a tiebreak was needed to settle the set. Kyrgios was presented with the first set point at 6-5, which the Australian took advantage of to laser a forehand pass down the line and claim the set.
ALSO READ: The Laver Cup: 2018 Tournament Review
A tight second set came to 5-5 before Federer was able to break Kyrgios, following up by serving out the set and tying the match. Federer got the better of Kyrgios in the end, winning the final match tiebreak 10-7 to remain undefeated against Australian in three Laver Cup meetings. 5-3 to Team Europe.
Next up, world number two Rafael Nadal took on Laver Cup debutant Milos Raonic of Canada. The two had met eight times on-court, with Nadal leading the head-to-head 6-2.
The match that followed proved a familiar affair between the two, as a double break handed Nadal the opener 6-3 before the Spaniard won the second set and the match in a rather lopsided 7-1 tiebreak. 7-3 Team Europe.
The second doubles tie of the tournament pitted Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas against dynamic doubles duo Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock, a favourite pairing for Team World at the Laver Cups past.
As had been the case before, the team chemistry of Kyrgios and Sock saw the men to a set lead, 6-4. But come the second set Nadal and Tsitsipas were dialled in, levelling the match at a set apiece.
Team World won out in the end, taking the match tiebreak 10-6, bringing the tournament scoreline to 7-5 in favour of Team Europe.
2019 Laver Cup Day Three
The final doubles match of the 2019 Laver Cup featured Stefanos Tsitsipas for a second doubles appearance alongside Roger Federer. They were up against the American pairing of John Isner and Jack Sock as the representatives for Team World.
The Europeans took the first set 7-5, but the Americans would not lie down. they roared back to win the second set 6-4, before edging out a tight match tiebreak 10-8 to put Team World into the lead for the first time at the event, 8-7.
Next up, Dominic Thiem made his second singles appearance of the weekend, facing Taylor Fritz in his second singles match too. The young American fell behind to the more experienced Austrian, as Thiem took the first set 7-5.
But Fritz was fired up, and edged out a close tiebreak in the second set to level the match. Game on. A hard fought match tiebreak saw Fritz triumph, as Team World pulled ahead 11-7, one win away from their first Laver Cup championship.
For the second year running at the Laver Cup, Roger Federer took on John Isner in singles. Unlike the previous year, Federer broke early in the opening set, going on to secure it 6-4.
A second set did not see a single break, before back-to-back mini-breaks at 3-4 on the Isner serve handed Federer match point. The Swiss sealed it with a big serve out wide. 11-10 to Team World still, but Team Europe had survived one more match.
It all came down to this. Whoever won the final match would win the 2019 Laver Cup outright, no need for an extra deciding match. Alexander Zverev took on Milos Raonic.
The Canadian was broken by Zverev at 3-3 in the opening set, a lead the German held to close it out 6-4. One set from victory for Team Europe. But Raonic was still in it, and secured a break of his own in the second before claiming the set 6-3.
A final match tiebreak to see out the 2019 Laver Cup. Six mini-breaks between the two players brought the score to 7-4 in favour of Zverev, before he served out the next two points to set up five Laver Cup points.
A forehand passing winner from the German ended it all. Team Europe had recovered from 11-7 down on the final day to hoist a third successive Laver Cup and leave Team World empty-handed once more.
- Read >> Breaking tennis news
- Follow >> 24/7 LIVE scores
- Join >> Tennishead CLUB, the world’s only virtual tennis club
- Social >> Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube
- Order >> World’s best tennis magazine
- Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted retail partner