Edmund puts Team Europe ahead 2-0
Team Europe made a confident start to their Laver Cup defence as Kyle Edmund followed up Grigor Dimitrov’s opening victory in the first session in Chicago.
Captain Bjorn Borg watched his side take a 2-0 lead over Team World heading into the night session, with 13 points the ultimate target to secure the trophy.
Dimitrov opened the second instalment of the Laver Cup with an impressive 6-1 6-4 win over Frances Tiafoe at the United Center, before fellow debutant Edmund saw off another American, Jack Sock, 6-4 5-7 10-6.
“The chance to play tennis here is pretty much once in a lifetime,” said Edmund.
“You guys were cheering for Jack, which is fine, but the atmosphere was incredible, one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever played in.”
One of the best atmospheres I’ve ever played in – Kyle Edmund
Team World captain John McEnroe will hope that Diego Schwartzman can get the red side of the scoreboard moving against David Goffin in Match 3, with Sock and Kevin Anderson then up against the formidable first-time partnership of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the doubles.
The home crowd did their best to rouse the Americans on show in the afternoon session, while New Yorker McEnroe and his youthful team were the more animated courtside supporters, just as they had been 12 months ago in Prague.
Even the watching Rod Laver was swept up in a Team World-inspired Mexican Wave around the stadium, but cool heads prevailed on court, and Edmund made sure that blue would continue to be the dominant color by coming through this year’s first match tiebreaker.
Breaking it down
Separated by just one place in the rankings, with a 1-1 head-to-head record and games based around similarly powerful forehands, it was no surprise that chances were few and far between in Match 2.
The first break point of the match was a set point, duly snapped up by Edmund when he forced an error from Sock, and the second set was equally hard-fought as the tension ratcheted up with every passing game.
“We really need you guys to get behind Jack,” fellow American John Isner told the crowd at a changeover, and they duly roared when a blistering backhand winner gave Sock his first break point at 4-3.
That chance would slip by but he would get another opportunity four games later, and the home crowd erupted when Sock forced an error and moments later served out the set.
Sock seemed to have the momentum heading into the deciding tiebreaker but early errors cost him, and it was Federer, Djokovic and the rest of the blue side who were up on their feet as Edmund stretched away.
Edmund powered a forehand into the corner to earn a 9-4 lead and five match points, and another unstoppable forehand brought the Briton victory after one hour and 41 minutes.
Attention will now turn to the evening session, and Federer’s doubles debut alongside Djokovic in particular.
I haven’t played doubles since last year with Rafa – Roger Federer
“We need to be well prepared, I feel like they’re favorites for all three doubles,” said Federer.
“Jack is maybe the world’s best doubles player right now. It’s going to be tough, we’re trying to do our best and what a thrill it is to be teaming up with Novak. I haven’t played doubles since last year with Rafa – I choose to play with the best!”
A small number of excellent seats for all five Laver Cup sessions have been released by production. Availability is strictly limited. http://www.ticketmaster.com/lavercup