By the time the Laver Cup night session of Day 1 begins at Boston’s TD North Garden, some momentum will already be held by either Team Europe or Team World. Even a 1-1 split in the day session will help underdog Team World players gain confidence.
At the same time, Team World Captain John McEnroe and Team Europe Captain Bjorn Borg realize they need to hold their big guns for the bigger two-point matches scheduled for Day 2. While Day 1 matches do not clinch the cup, they might put a team on their way. Both captains carefully mixed Laver Cup novices and veteran’s to compete in the singles and doubles matches which are part of Laver Cup Session 2.
Laver Cup Day 1 Session 2 Predictions
2021 Laver Cup Match 3 – Singles
1 Point Match
Team Europe’s Andrey Rublev vs Team World’s Diego Schwartzman
Head to Head – Schwartzman leads 1-0
Three years ago, almost to the day, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman made his Laver Cup debut. Schwarztman played singles on Day 1, in Match 3. Sound familiar? Here he is again trying to open the night session with a 1-point win for Team World.
In 2018 Schwartzman lost to David Goffin by the narrowest of margins, 11-9 in a 10-point tiebreaker. The experience of that heartbreaker gives Schwartzman a razor thin advantage over Team Europe’s Rublev. The evenly matched pair have never met on hardcourt before and have no experience facing each other in the past three years. They will have to size up each other quickly as Laver Cup matches are short. The little Argentine with the big heart will narrowly topple the world #5 Rublev.
Prediction: Schwartzman in 2
2021 Laver Cup Match 4 – Doubles
1 Point Match
Team Europe’s Alexander Zverev/Matteo Berrettini vs Team World’s John Isner/Denis Shapovalov
Did anyone think Team World stalwart John Isner would sit idle all of Day 1? Of course not. While McEnroe rightfully is saving Isner’s singles for two and/or three point matches, he will play doubles in this one point match. Isner holds a perfect 3-0 record in Laver Cup doubles. McEnroe’s decision to pair Isner with the left-handed Shapovalov gives Team World a modest advantage over Zverev and Berrettini.
Like Isner, Zverev has played in all three previous Laver Cups and brings a 1-1 doubles record into this match. Somewhat surprisingly, Berrettini, as a Laver Cup rookie will be the only player on either team to in both the afternoon and night sessions on Friday. The two matches will not be too much for Berrettini’s young legs but the doubles tandem of Isner and Shapovalov will be. Despite Team Europe’s overall advantage on paper, Team World will exit Day 1 with a 3-1 lead.
Prediction: Isner and Shapovalov in 2
Main Photo from Getty.