Laver Cup 2017: Team Europe Grabs 3-1 Lead After Close Opening Day

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2017

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - SEPTEMBER 22:  Rafael Nadal serves playing with Tomas Berdych of Team Europe during there doubles match against Nick Kyrgios ans Jack Sock of Team World on the first day of the Laver Cup on September 22, 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic.  The Laver Cup consists of six European players competing against their counterparts from the rest of the World. Europe will be captained by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will captain the Rest of the World team. The event runs from 22-24 September.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Team Europe took a 3-1 lead on the first day of the 2017 Laver Cup, winning all three singles matches before dropping the doubles to Team World.

Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev completed a clean sweep of the singles, beating Frances Tiafoe, John Isner and Denis Shapovalov, respectively. All three matches were close, with Team Europe needing seven tiebreaks to grab the lead.

In the doubles, Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock grabbed the win against Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych, putting the 3-1 score on the board.

For full scores and an updated schedule―as well as an explanation of the scoring system―visit BBC Sport.

   

Recap

Fans and pundits alike were unsure of what to expect when the inaugural edition of the Laver Cup kicked off Friday, but it became evident quickly the players were taking it seriously.

Both of the singles matches in the afternoon session were close, and tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou noted no one held back:

The biggest difference between Cilic and Tiafoe was experience. The youngster was able to keep up with the Croat in the first set and even held a big advantage in the second, but he twice faltered in key moments and was outplayed in the tiebreaks.

Coach John McEnroe was full of praise of the 19-year-old, highlighting the few areas he needs to work on:

The second match of the afternoon session was even closer than the first, serving up the first super tiebreak, where the winner needs to score 10 points.

It was Thiem who doubled Europe's advantage, but the match could just as easily have gone the other way. BBC5Live's David Law loved it:

Not to be outdone, Zverev and Shapovalov didn't give each other an inch in the first match of the evening session, with the German taking the first set in yet another tiebreak.

In the second set, the team aspect of the competition came into play, with Roger Federer giving his young team-mate some advice:

To the surprise of no one, another tiebreak followed, and a dominant showing from Zverev on his serve in the decider gave Team Europe a clean sweep of Friday's singles.

Fortunately for the World team, both Kyrgios and Sock are relatively experienced doubles players, and they easily held their own against Berdych and Nadal, claiming the first set.

But Nadal and Berdych had no interest in making things simple, winning a tiebreak in the second to force a decider, per the event's official Twitter account:

The super tiebreak was another close affair, but Kyrgios finished the tie with an ace down the middle to put his team on the board.

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