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Andrey Rublev, Alexander Zverev clinch 14-1 victory for Team Europe at Laver Cup
Team World came close to scoring wins so many times throughout the weekend, but in the end Team Europe—which included six Top 10 players—was just too strong.
Published Sep 26, 2021
Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev put the finishing touches on the most dominant victory in Laver Cup history on Sunday, clinching the 2021 title for Team Europe with a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 10-3 doubles win against Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov.
With every match on Sunday counting for three points, Rublev and Zverev’s doubles victory made it 14-1 for Team Europe—there would have been three singles matches left to play, but 13 points guarantees victory at Laver Cup. There had never been a 13-point lead at any stage of Laver Cup since the team competition began in 2017.
“Obviously a lot of matches could’ve gone both ways, and we won most of those matches,” Zverev said. “We’re all extremely happy. We had a lot of hard work for this victory throughout the whole week, and the guys have been amazing—the team has been amazing. A lot of us came much closer together here.
"Honestly, I can’t wait for London next year.”
Rublev, who’s currently ranked No. 5 in singles but has never been higher than No. 67 in doubles, was asked in his on-court interview whether he was surprised with his doubles results—he finished the weekend a flawless 1-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles.
“I was thinking I was one of the worst ones in doubles, and that I could only shoot forehands, and that’s it,” he replied. “But looks like I can play doubles as well!”
Team Europe has now won all four editions of the Laver Cup: Prague in 2017, Chicago in 2018, Geneva in 2019 and Boston in 2021. It wasn’t held in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Team World came close to scoring wins throughout the weekend. Two of the three singles matches on Friday could easily have gone their way—Felix Auger-Aliassime was two points from victory against Matteo Berrettini at 8-8 in the match tie-break but fell, 6-7 (3), 7-5, 10-8, and Diego Schwartzman was even closer to taking out Rublev that night, going up 6-2 and 8-5 in the match tie-break but falling, 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.
Two of the four matches on Saturday went to match tie-breaks as well, including American John Isner pushing Zverev to a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (6), 10-5 scoreline.
But in the end, Team Europe was just too strong. Despite not having the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on their team this year, they had six of the other seven players in the Top 10 on their side—No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 4 Zverev, No. 5 Rublev, No. 7 Berrettini and No. 10 Casper Ruud.
Team World’s lone win going into Day 3 was a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 10-1 doubles victory for Isner and Shapovalov against Berrettini and Zverev just before midnight on Day 1.