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The Laver Cup 2023 got off to an unusual start in Vancouver. For the first time, Team World won all of the matches on the opening day. This elevates the stakes for the likelihood of the trophy going to the world’s representatives.
Although the series against Laver Cup Team Europe is 4-0, the competition’s format allows for a dramatic comeback. Last season, Team World overcame a seemingly insurmountable margin to win its first championship.
Let’s take a look at what happened on the first day of the Laver Cup in 2023.
Laver Cup day 1 results
According to each player’s ranking, Team World appears to be superior to Team Europe for the first time in the Laver Cup. The disparity was visible on the court and in each of the duels.
Match 1 – Ben Shelton beat Athur Fils 7-6 6-1
This was a prime example of generational replacement. The two young players displayed their most outstanding qualities in the first set, in which neither player handed up a single serve.
The French player maintained his cool and hit a variety of strokes that were difficult for Shelton to return. In return, Ben was highly aggressive off the serve, hitting several aces during the match.
Despite the tiebreak in the first set, Shelton’s method worked flawlessly in the second set. Team World won the first match of the evening with two break points.
Match 2 – Francisco Cerundolo beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 7-5
On day one, it was one of the most evenly-matched matches. Both players attempted to develop their rhythm of play from the first set. Although Davidovich Fokina appeared to be in command at several points during the match, he could not stop Francisco’s powerful shots.
Alejandro converted one break point, but his defense was poor, and he dropped two serves. The Argentine tennis player gained confidence and performed more solidly in the second set after that.
If the first set was intense, it paled compared to the second, which included seven breakpoints.
Again, Davidovich Fokina converted three times, but his defense was porous, and he couldn’t stop Cerundolo from converting four breakpoints to seal the victory.
Match 3 – Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Gael Monfils 6-4 6-3
Given that the French athlete is 14 years older than the Canadian guy, this is one of the night’s most intriguing duels. Youth and audacity triumphed over experience on this occasion.
In the first set, Monfils got off to a slow start and dropped his first serve, which cost him dearly because he would not recover throughout the set. When Auger-Aliassime took the lead, he focused on his defense to narrow the margin of error and allow his opponent to tie the game. It was a little different in the second set because neither player wanted to give in, but the physical condition of each was a major difference. When Felix led 4-3, he broke Monfils’ final serve to take a lead he would never relinquish.
March 4 – Paul/Tiafoe beat Fils/Rublev 6-3 4-6 10-6
After losing all three singles matches, Team Europe’s last hope was to win the final point of the doubles. This was Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg’s gambit, and we would see Arthur Fils in action again, accompanied by Andrey Rublev. Captain John McEnroe of Team World opted to send out two players who had not played all night, Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe.
Both captains made good decisions, as both partnerships put on a tremendous display that finished in the lone super tiebreak of the night. The American duo came up huge there, capping off a great night for Laver Cup Team World, who now leads the standings 4-0.
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