Team World Completes Clean Sweep On Day 1 At Laver Cup
Team World had never finished Day 1 of the Laver Cup with a lead heading into this year’s edition of the team event. John McEnroe’s men set that record straight in style on Friday in Vancouver as they forged a 4-0 lead over Team Europe with a dominant evening session display.
After Ben Shelton and Francisco Cerundolo had earlier opened a 2-0 lead for Team World, Felix Auger-Aliassime downed Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-3 in the third and final singles clash of the day at Rogers Arena. Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe then held firm for a 6-3, 4-6, 10-6 triumph against Arthur Fils and Andrey Rublev in the first doubles clash of the three-day event.
Auger-Aliassime, who has struggled to find his best form for much of 2023, broke Monfils’ serve twice in a five-game streak from 4-4 in the first set to take control of the pair’s encounter. The 23-year-old held firm behind serve, ultimately winning 85 per cent of points behind his first delivery en route to securing a 3-0 lead for his team.
“It felt nice,” said Canadian favourite Auger-Aliassime, who improved to 3-2 in Laver Cup singles matches with his triumph. “Last year, it was an amazing win in London, but if we can win on home soil for the first time, that would also be cool. It was our first win last year for Team World.
“To do it with the crowd, with us and supporting us, and for me especially as a Canadian, it feels good. Feels good to get a first win under my belt here in the competition, and overall in my season I think it's nice to get some wins.”
Laver Cup debutant Tommy Paul and his countryman Frances Tiafoe backed up Auger-Aliassime’s win to maintain Team World’s perfect start to the sixth edition of the annual team event. The pair rallied from 0/3 in the Match Tie-break to edge Fils and Rublev and leave Team Europe with plenty of work to do on Day 2 in British Columbia.
The first team to reach 13 points will win the Laver Cup. Two points will be awarded for each victory on Saturday, and three for each win on Sunday.