Day 3 preview: Doubles kicks off day of destiny
Roger Federer and Stefanos Tsitsipas will take on John Isner and Jack Sock in a blockbuster doubles clash as the destiny of the Laver Cup is decided on Sunday.
Defending champion Team Europe leads Team World 7-5 in Geneva, and requires two more wins to reach 13 points and secure the trophy for a third time.
However, Friday night’s doubles win brought World right back into contention and they will hope to ride the momentum as they look for the three wins they need on Sunday.
Nick Kyrgios is likely to play a central role as the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal through injury means the Australian will now take on Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s first singles contest.
Should Europe have already scored a win in either of those first two matches, home hero Federer will have the chance to seal victory when he takes on Isner.
An Isner win would see the destiny of the Laver Cup come down to a dramatic final match between Alexander Zverev for Europe, and Team World’s Milos Raonic.
Federer / Tsitsipas (Europe) v Isner / Sock (World)
Team World have dominated doubles in the first editions of the Laver Cup and Captain John McEnroe will have confidence that the unbeaten all-American pairing of Sock and Isner can produce once again. Nadal’s withdrawal means Tsitsipas steps in again, having already suffered doubles defeat with the Spaniard on Saturday.
Thiem (Europe, ranked 5th) v Kyrgios (World, ranked 27th)
The dynamics of the second singles match have changed with Nadal’s withdrawal, but Europe can call upon a formidable replacement in Thiem. A fired-up Kyrgios will need to change his game plan having expected to the great a left-hander, and the Austrian has already shown his form having edged a dramatic match tiebreaker against Denis Shapovalov on Day 1.
Federer (Europe, ranked 3rd) v Isner (World, ranked 20th)
Switzerland’s favorite son would like nothing more than to secure the Cup winning points in front of his home fans, and the Palexpo is sure to be a cauldron of noise. Isner has plenty of experience, however, and a couple of wins over Federer to bolster his confidence. Plus one of the biggest serves in history.
Zverev (Europe, ranked 6th) v Raonic (World, ranked 24th)
He might be the younger man by six years but Zverev has the experience when it comes to Laver Cup, having played seven matches in the tournament to Raonic’s one. The Canadian had his chances against Nadal on Saturday, however, and leads Zverev 2-1 in previous meetings.