Team Europe leads Team World 7-5 ahead of final day in Geneva
Team World fought hard to stay within striking distance of Team Europe on Day 2 of the Rod Laver Cup in Geneva. The scoreboard now reads 7-5 in favor of Team Europe, ahead of the final day of competition. The final day begins with a blockbuster doubles matchup between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (Team Europe) against Jack Sock and John Isner (Team World).
Federer survived a scare against Team World’s Nick Kyrgios early on day 2 to put his team ahead, 5-3. However, Kyrgios quickly redeemed himself by winning a doubles match with Jack Sock against Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4 3-6 10-6. The win kept Team World within striking distance of their opponents for the final day of the event.
Rafael Nadal was the hero for Team Europe, after he managed to give his team the end-of-day 7-5 lead. Despite the doubles loss, Nadal’s victory against Milos Raonic ensured that Team Europe kept their advantage going into the last day.
Apart from his performance on the court, Nadal’s coaching skills are also being credited for helping Federer overcome the challenge from Kyrgios. Federer found himself a set and 4-5 down before Nadal came back to the team bench after warming up for his own matches. The 19-time Grand Slam champion wasted no time and started feeding Federer with advice and motivation.
“Rafa saved me today,” said Federer, when he spoke to the press after the match. “I really enjoy his clarity in his advice. He gives you self-assurance. He’s a great problem/solution-finder, how to get through that,” added Federer.
The unique format of the Laver Cup gives an interesting dynamic on the court. The team’s captain sits beside the player on the bench, while the vice-captain and the rest of the players right behind then in a special courtside “dugout.” Any member of the team is free to approach the player/s every time they take a seat in between games. This is a stark contrast to the rules in regular competitions where it is strictly forbidden to receive any coaching.
Microphones on the bench area also gives the audience an interesting look into the match. Players could be heard giving each other advice or making comments. The interaction between the team members gives fans a rare, intimate look at the players’ personalities.
Day 3 of the Rod Laver Cup will award 3 points for every match win. This means that Team Europe only needs two wins to secure the 13 points needed for victory. However, with a narrow 2-point lead, Team world can still snatch the trophy right from under their noses.
Update: Rafael Nadal pulled out of the competition on Sunday morning and was replaced by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the doubles match alongside Roger Federer.