Session 2 of the Laver Cup often involves quality matches in a comparatively low stress atmosphere. While all Day 1 matches are worth 1 point, Friday night matches are, well, on Friday night. By this time some points have been won, some partying has been done and the teams feel the intensity growing and emotion often carries the evening. Historically, in this Laver Cup atmosphere, super tiebreakers are needed. Eight of the ten Session 2 matches have gone to super tiebreaks.
Into that atmosphere, Team World Captain John McEnroe and Team Europe Captain Bjorn Borg decided to throw fuel on the fire. Great decisions.
In Vancouver, McEnroe elected to send out Canada’s own Felix Auger-Aliassime and an electric doubles team. Borg countered with the entertaining Gael Monfils and interesting veteran-rookie pair in doubles. Take a look at the Session 2 predictions.
Laver Cup Session 2 Predictions
Match 4 – Doubles (1 Point Match)
Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul vs Andrey Rublev and Arthur Fils
While doubles is an afterthought at many ATP events, not so at the Laver Cup. Friday night will lively, there is no doubt. Tiafoe and Rublev are now Laver Cup veterans. Paul and Fils will experience Laver Cup play for the first time Friday, though it will be Fils second match of the day.
Rublev holds one of the best all-time Laver Cup records. He is 3-0 overall, 1-0 in doubles and has won 6 points for Team Europe. Tiafoe has lost more than he has one, but he came of age with his Laver Cup clinching singles win in 2022.
With minimal doubles play to speak of in recent months, look to Laver Cup experience, emotion and crowd support to rule the day. Team World holds a 4-1 record in Day 1 doubles, look for 5-1 after Friday night.
Prediction: Tiafoe and Paul in 2
Match 3 – Singles (1 Point Match)
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Gael Monfils
Head to Head: Monfils leads 1-0
A match up of contrasts all around. Auger-Aliassime is 23, Monfils is 37. Auger-Aliassime is a tactician, Monfils is an electric showman. While ranked over 120 spots higher than Monfils, Auger-Aliassime is struggling while Monfils showed great improvement this summer. At first glance, Monfils should win.
Take a second glance. For the first time, Team World is hosting the Laver Cup outside of the United States, the home-country Auger-Aliassime will enjoy raucous crowd support on Friday night in Vancouver. Auger-Aliassime also brings great Laver Cup experience. His tough singles loss in 2021 was followed by great wins in both singles and doubles on Day 3 in 2022. Despite his woes, Auger-Aliassime will be ready Friday night.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in Super Tiebreaker
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports