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Laver Cup Berlin teammates dominate in the desert

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Team Europe's representatives for Laver Cup 2024 are continuing their strong start to the season following the conclusion of the first ATP Masters 1000 tournament at Indian Wells.

Three of captain Bjorn Borg’s six players slated to represent Europe at the event’s 7th edition in Berlin excelled in the Coachella Valley. With the exception of a bee invasion, their greatest obstacles were mostly each other in the battle for Indian Wells supremacy.

Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz successfully defended his crown in the desert, ending a title drought that began after his breakthrough victory at Wimbledon in 2023.

He claimed back-to-back victories over Daniil Medvedev at Indian Wells, the man he defeated 12 months ago at the same event and who has since been named as Alcaraz’s Laver Cup teammate in September. Their head-to-head now stands at 4-2 in Alcaraz’s favor, but he is ever wary of his soon-to-be teammate, having lost a brutal match to him in four sets at last year’s US Open. 

“You know how tough it is playing against you,” Alcaraz noted after his 7-6(5) 6-1 triumph at Indian Wells. “Hopefully, more finals ahead. That means I’m doing well,” beamed the resurgent No.2, a favorite at the forthcoming ATP Masters 1000 in Miami.

Also circling for his next title is Alexander Zverev, who will make his fifth Laver Cup appearance in September and is one of the competition’s most successful players, with four Laver Cup championships to his credit with Team Europe at Prague (2017), Chicago (2018), Geneva (2019) and Boston (2021). Team World won its first Laver Cup title at London (2022) and successfully defended at Vancouver in 2023.

Zverev holds a 5-4 edge over Alcaraz, but the Spaniard drew closer at Indian Wells as a swarm of bees descended at 1-1 during their quarterfinal match, with both players fleeing for cover. After a sting to his forehead and a two-hour delay, Alcaraz buzzed to a 6-3 6-1 victory over the German, retribution after his four-set loss to Zverev in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January.

Alcaraz, at 20, has now won 13 titles, including two majors (US Open 2022 and Wimbledon 2023), and five ATP Masters 1000s. Should he succeed in Miami, he will join only seven male players in history to have captured the Sunshine Double – winning Indian Wells and Miami in the same year.  They are: Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Marcelo Rios, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

World No.4 Medvedev, the Australian Open 2024 runner-up and US Open 2021 champion, dropped just two sets en route to his showdown with Alcaraz at Indian Wells, including one against past Team World player Tommy Paul in the semifinals. The 28-year-old holds 20 ATP singles titles and is the defending champion at Miami.

All three players are keen to share the bench at Laver Cup in Berlin from September 20-22 at Uber Arena, where they will join three more soon-to-be-announced players for a no-holds-barred assault on Team World, the reigning champions.

While Medvedev competed alongside Zverev in Boston, Berlin will mark Alcaraz’s first appearance with Team Europe.

“The only advice I can give to Carlos about playing Laver Cup is you should play it as any other tournament and then Team Europe could be in good hands,” Medvedev said.

The top three-ranked players for each team earn a guaranteed invitation based on their ATP singles ranking on the Monday after Roland-Garros (June 10, 2024). The remaining three will be Captains’ picks and named any time before the start of the US Open.

Full Tournament Ticket Packages for Laver Cup 2024 are on sale now via the Laver Cup Ticket Shop operated by CTS Eventim. Buy now.

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