Team World surged victorious from the ninth match of the Laver Cup at the hands of Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton. The duo beat Team Europe Hubert Hurkacz and Andrey Rublev in their doubles matchup to wrap up a staggering campaign at the three-day team competition on Sunday in Vancouver, Canada.
Team World’s representatives, Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton teamed up against Hubert Hurkacz - playing his third match in 24 hours, and Andrey Rublev, kicking off a decisive Day 3 at the prestigious team’s competition.
The men in red hit the court in the Rogers Arena, needing just one match victory on Sunday to capture for the first time back-to-back Laver Cup titles, and they did, edging their opponents 7-6(4), 7-6(5) after one hour and 37 minutes, to set the scoreboard 13-2.
The Americans clinched a high-class opener against Team Europe’s pair, prevailing 7-6(4) to take the first set tiebreak, moving one set away from the title.
Showcasing great consistency behind his booming serve, Shelton, 20, raised to the occasion, combining forces to perfection with Tiafoe, who lifted the trophy for the second straight season.
“It’s been crazy for me, and I’ve enjoyed being in a team environment,” the Atlanta-born said.
“I’ve enjoyed playing for Johnny Mac. Team World really brought the energy this week. It’s easy for me to play when I’m amped up and hyped, and the bench has done a great job of hyping me up all week.”
Adding: “I hope I’ve done a good job of hyping them up too. Playing with Frances speaks for itself; easiest guy to play with, most fun guy to be on court with.”
A tight second set also unfolded into a tiebreak, which featured thrilling rallies and duels at the net as Team Europe would not go down without a fight.
Despite their efforts, the players led by captain John McEnroe would seal a flawless campaign on Canadian soil, clinching the set 7-6(5) and the match. Together, they won 83 percent of the first-serve points.
“Being a part of it last year and clinching it last year was so emotional, first time. John [McEnroe[ was super excited. Now, being able to do it again in doubles with Ben was a lot of fun,” Tiafoe outlined.
Team World was represented by Tiafoe, Shelton, Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul, Francisco Cerundolo, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime - displaying his best tennis in a while, and alternates Milos Raonic and Christopher Eubanks.
Team Europe line-up featured Rublev, Hurkacz, Gael Monfils, Arthur Fils, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, and Casper Ruud, who earned the first and sole triumph for his team with a 7-6(6) 6-2 victory over Paul on Saturday.
Last year, Team World halted Team Europe’s winning streak - the men in Blue, mentored by Bjorn Borg, captured all four straight Laver Cup trophies since the competition’s debut in 2017.
Following the trophy ceremony, Davidovich Fokina/Fils and Eubanks/Raonic took to the court to play an exhibition doubles match.