Medvedev Marches Past Shapovalov, Extends Team Europe's Lead
The World No. 2 beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-0 to give Team Europe a 9-1 lead over Team World in the Laver Cup before Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated John Isner and Nick Kyrgios 6-7(8), 6-3, 10-4 to extend that lead to 11-1. Team Europe swept all four of Saturday's matches.
Medvedev, the top-ranked player in the event, broke serve four times against Shapovalov and needed just 75 minutes to triumph inside TD Garden.
"I played unbelievably, especially [in] the second set," Medvedev said in his on-court interview. "I didn't know what to expect because after the US Open, I didn't play for a week and a half. Came here, practised as much as I could the past three days, so I didn't hit [that] many balls, but was surprisingly feeling well.
"I wanted to show that also today. [The] first [set] was not easy, the ball was not going as fast as I wanted [and] he was playing really good. And then I just couldn't miss a ball anymore. I'm really happy about [that]."
Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 26, 2021
Medvedev entered the match trailing Shapovalov 1-2 in their ATP Head2Head rivalry. But they had not played since Tokyo in 2018 (a Medvedev win), and the 25-year-old has since firmly established himself near the top of the sport.
The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion left Shapovalov stunned with his precision and consistency, leaving the dynamic lefty few ideas to try to turn the match around.
At 6-4, 5-0, Shapovalov’s longtime friend and teammate, Felix Auger-Aliassime, wandered over to the Team Europe bench with his hands up in disbelief at Medvedev’s play after an impressive point. Even Shapovalov laughed as he walked to the net to shake the Russian’s hand after match point.
"I was a bit stressed coming into the match because actually every singles guy [on my team] won. So I was like, 'If I lose, that's not so good,'" Medvedev said. "I'm happy I managed to win."
Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laver Cup
Isner and Kyrgios appeared in position to close out the evening on a high note for Team World when they saved three set points to take the opening set in the doubles match against Rublev and Tsitsipas.
But Rublev took over with his power and blasted Team Europe to victory in the Match Tie-break 10-4. Isner and Kyrgios are two of the biggest servers on the ATP Tour, but they were only able to win 64 per cent of their first-serve points in the match against the aggressive baseliners.
Sunday's matches are worth three points each, so Team Europe is just one victory from clinching the Laver Cup for the fourth time.