LAVER CUP, Prague
The inaugural event got underway today. There will be two more days of matches, with four matches played each day. Each team gets one point for every match won and the first team to reach 13 points wins the trophy.
(Europe vs World)
FIRST SINGLES: Marin Cilic vs. Frances Tiafoe
SECOND SINGLES: Dominic Thiem vs. John Isner
THIRD SINGLES: Alexander Zverev vs. Denis Shapovalov
FIRST DOUBLES: Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal vs. Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock
FIRST MATCH: Tiafoe had chances; however, as usually happens in moments of intense stress, one’s inexperience shows. Cilic, known to be a choker when there is much expected of him, came through in flying colors for Europe. He won both tiebreak sets [7-6(3), 7-6(0)] to give Europe the first point.
SECOND MATCH: Isner also had chances to give the World a point, he won the first set in a marathon tiebreak; however, he stumbled badly in the second set tiebreak. Things looked great for the World to get their first point when Isner got off to a positive start (4-0 up) in the super tiebreak third set; yet, inexplicably, Isner lost his momentum and never recovered. Thiem came away with the victory [6-7(15), 7-6(2), 1-0(7)] to give Europe 2-0 lead after two matches.
THIRD MATCH: Shapovalov fought for the entire match and had a few chances to perhaps change the dynamics of the match; yet, once again, inexperience cost him. Zverev also had chances to avoid the second set tiebreak; however, a testament of the fight in the young Canadian, he fought them off and forced a tiebreak. All to no avail because Zverev won 7-6(3), 7-6(5) to give Europe 3-0 lead after three matches.
FOURTH MATCH: It was up to the doubles team to try to save face for the World. They got off to a positive start taking the first set; however, team Europe would not give up so easily and they won the second set tiebreak. The match would be decided in another super tiebreak, first team to 10 points with a two point-margin would win and that was team World. They won 6-3, 6-7(7), 10-7 to win the match and give the World its first point.
At the end of day one Europe leads World 3-1.
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