Team World had the perfect opening day at the 2023 Laver Cup, winning every match to take a 4-0 lead. However, the Laver Cup format means that advantage is a very slender one at this stage. All four matches played on the second day are worth two points, giving Team Europe a great chance of overturning the deficit. This article predicts the two matches from the opening session on day 2, which features three-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud. We at LWOT have a separate article predicting the matches from session 4- this includes Hubert Hurkacz vs Frances Tiafoe.
Laver Cup Session 3 Predictions
Andrey Rublev vs Taylor Fritz
Head-to-head: Fritz 4-3 Rublev
This could be a very tight opener at the Laver Cup between the #6 and #8 in the world. These two are also 1-1 on indoor hard courts. Fritz has actually struggled more on indoor courts throughout his career, having a considerably lower win percentage compared to outdoors. That may surprise some, given that many players with the serve and forehand style of Fritz often thrive on indoor courts. (such as his teammate Felix Auger-Aliassime)
The emotional state of an often volatile Rublev could be pivotal here. He undoubtedly will not be as relaxed as Gael Monfils was, which led to an argument with Felix Auger-Aliassime yesterday. But alternatively getting too desperate not to let his teammates down in the Laver Cup atmosphere is also important. I think assistance from his teammates in important moments to keep him calm and focused is especially helpful to Rublev. And that could just get him over the line.
Prediction: Rublev in Super Tiebreaker
Casper Ruud vs Tommy Paul
Head-to-head: Ruud 3-1 Paul
The overall CV of the two-time French Open finalist Ruud is obviously more impressive than Paul’s. Yet I think the American has the edge at the Laver Cup for a few reasons. Firstly, the trajectory of their seasons. Ruud (aside from his excellent run to another Roland-Garros final) has struggled through much of 2023, while Paul is having a career-best season so far. The second factor is the indoor conditions. The Norwegian is of course capable of good tennis at indoor events, as he showed at the World Tour Finals last year. However, he is usually more comfortable playing outdoors, while Paul’s win percentage for indoor matches is far more superior to his outdoor record.
Two of Paul’s previous losses to Ruud were also in very close five-set matches. His improvement this season means he has a great chance of going a step further this time at the Laver Cup.
Prediction: Paul in 2