It is impossible for the 2023 Laver Cup to match the hype around last year’s iteration. That saw Roger Federer play his final ever match, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray all in action as well. Nonetheless, there are still many quality players on show for this year’s event. The opening day proved that, with Ben Shelton and Gael Monfils among the players who took to the courts. Team World built a 4-0 lead after the first two sessions on day 1. However, all four matches played on the second day are worth two points, making a comeback more than possible. The two contests from session 4 are predicted here. We at LWOT have a separate article with predictions for the third session- including Casper Ruud vs Tommy Paul. Which players do you think will win for their respective teams?
Laver Cup Day 4 Predictions
Hubert Hurkacz vs Frances Tiafoe
Head-t0-head: Hurkacz 3-2 Tiafoe
Hurkacz has won the last three meetings between these two. The most recent of these was on an indoor hard court in Vienna, although it was a very tight match. Both men have struggled slightly more on indoor courts compared to outdoors throughout their careers. I find Hurkacz’s slightly more pronounced struggles indoors particularly surprising, since his playing style of big serving and flat hitting seems perfectly suited to such conditions.
Their recent matches would make the Pole look like the favourite on paper. But I am giving the 2022 US Open semifinalist the edge. He is a personality that feeds off the team environment of the Laver Cup. That was shown last year, and again in his tight doubles victory on the opening day this year. That emotional factor is capable of carrying the American, even in conditions not perfectly suited to his game.
Prediction: Tiafoe in Super Tiebreaker
Hurkacz/Monfils vs Auger-Aliassime/Shelton
Head-to-head: First meeting
The doubles matches at the Laver Cup are often the closest and dramatic, and that proved to be the case on the first day. Team Europe has a positive and negative in this matchup. The positive is that Hurkacz is the most accomplished doubles player of the four on court, winning a handful of titles. The negative is that the entertaining Monfils does have a poor doubles record, losing 83 of the 111 matches he has played. The Frenchman’s volleying is arguably the weakest part of his game, which could be a large reason for those struggles.
This contest also has added intrigue, due to the heated scenes between Monfils and Auger-Aliassime during their singles battle yesterday. There is no guarantee that the skills of Auger-Aliassime and Shelton will align perfectly as a Laver Cup doubles team. Nonetheless, I do feel that Monfils is the liability that can be exploited here to hand Team World another two points.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime/Shelton in 2