Day 2 preview: World ready to face Europe legends
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will spearhead Team Europe’s Laver Cup campaign on day two – but Nick Kyrgios refuses to be intimidated.
The defending champions won two singles and the doubles on day one, and with wins worth two points on Saturday, the chance is there to significantly build on that overnight 3-1 advantage.
Alexander Zverev, fresh from Friday’s doubles win alongside Federer, takes on John Isner in the opening singles.
Nick Kyrgios will then face home hero Roger Federer, before Milos Raonic attempts to derail US Open champion Rafael Nadal in the evening session.
Nadal is scheduled for a quick turnaround as he is then down to team up with Stefanos Tsitsipas in the doubles against Kyrgios and Jack Sock.
Alexander Zverev (Europe, ranked 6th) v John Isner (World, ranked 20th)
Day two opens with a repeat of last year’s gripping contest at the same stage, which Zverev won by the narrowest of margins. They have played only once since then, with the German extending his head-to-head lead to 6-1 over the American.
Roger Federer (Europe, ranked 3rd) v Nick Kyrgios (World, ranked 27th)
The pair will meet for the third year running at the Laver Cup, with Federer having won both previous encounters and sure to carry the home crowd support with him. However, Kyrgios has already declared he is “not scared” by the talent on Team Europe and expect him to relish the occasion.
Rafael Nadal (Europe, ranked 2nd) v Milos Raonic (World, ranked 24th)
It is two years since this pair last met at the 2017 Australian Open, when Nadal claimed a seventh victory over the Canadian. Both men have had their injury problems and Raonic arrives short on match practice, while Nadal has a bandaged left wrist.
Nadal / Tsitsipas (Europe) v Kyrgios / Sock (World)
Team World will expect to have the edge here with Kyrgios and Sock a tried-and-tested partnership, unbeaten in two Laver Cup outings, up against the scratch pairing of Tsitsipas and Nadal. The Spaniard also faces the prospect of playing back-to-back singles and doubles matches.
Game Insight Group analysis
- Zverev v Isner is the first Laver Cup rematch of 2019, the two having faced off on Day 2 in Chicago, with Zverev narrowly winning 10-7 in the third set. With Zverev just a 60% favorite, the winner of this match is the most uncertain among the singles matches on Day 2.
- That match will be followed by the greatest rivalry Laver Cup has so far produced: Federer versus Kyrgios. This will be their third clash at Laver Cup, Federer with the 2-0 edge.
- With just a 1 in 6 expected chance, a win over Federer on the Swiss star’s home turf would be a major upset for Kyrgios. However, by taking Federer to 11-9 in a third set in their first meeting in Prague, Kyrgios proved he can rise to the occasion.
- Raonic will make his Laver Cup debut against Nadal and has a massive serve that – on the fast service and quick format at Laver Cup – could prove tricky for the Spaniard. On the other hand, if Nadal is anything close to his form at the US Open, where he took his 19th Major title, this could become a masterclass in what makes Nadal such a fierce competitor.