Heading into day three, Team Europe have once again dominated the Laver Cup, opening out an almost unassailable 11-1 lead after winning all four matches on day two. But every match is worth an extra point on day three, giving Team World the chance to turn the tie around. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, but will it be Team Europe or Team World who ends the day ascendant?
Laver Cup Day 3 Predictions
Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev vs Reilly Opelka and Denis Shapovalov
Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev have both had excellent seasons in singles, but neither can exactly be called doubles specialists. Fortunately for them, neither are Reilly Opelka or Denis Shapovalov. What Team World’s pairing do bring to the court is formidable power, particularly from the line. Indeed, Opelka is surely one of the most effective servers in the world, whilst Shapovalov also has no problem hitting aces. Double faults can be an issue for the Canadian, however.
Of greater concern is their inconsistency off the ground. Will they be able to find effective passing shots under pressure as regularly as the Europeans? Their respective results over the last year suggests very strongly that they will not. Opelka’s serve should help them stay competitive and the relative unfamiliarity of doubles should prove to be a leveller. But ultimately, Rublev and Zverev are simply better players than their opponents. Expect that to be reflected in the scoreline.
Prediction: Zverev and Rublev in 3
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Alexander Zverev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Head-to-head: Zverev 3-1 Auger-Aliassime
When this pair last met, Felix Auger-Aliassime scored one of the biggest wins of his career to knock Zverev out in five sets in the fourth round at Wimbledon. But the Canadian may struggle to back that result up in very different conditions in Boston. For one thing, he has lost the other three matches he has played against Zverev without winning a set, including on an indoor hard court in the final in Cologne last season.
His recent form also does not compare particularly favourably with Zverev’s. The German enjoyed a productive summer in North America, winning the title in Cincinnati and extending Novak Djokovic to five sets in the semifinals at the US Open. Auger-Aliassime enjoyed some fine results too, not least reaching the semifinals in New York, but he looked out of his depth at that stage and was well-beaten by Daniil Medvedev.
He also got off to a losing start at the Laver Cup, falling to Matteo Berrettini in his only singles match so far in Boston. Zverev, in contrast, opened his account with a win over John Isner, prevailing 10-5 in a deciding set tiebreak. It would be something of a surprise were this match to be as closely contested. Ultimately, Auger-Aliassime simply does not have the firepower to go toe-to-toe with Zverev from the baseline and stand a reasonable chance of success.
Prediction: Zverev in 2
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