I can’t explain why I find the Laver Cup so gripping, even beyond one of the game’s legends retiring on its stage. Perhaps it’s just how much the players get into being in a team atmosphere, and you can’t help but go along for the ride. It’s the same charm as golf’s Ryder Cup, I assume.
Team World finally captured the trophy yesterday over Team Europe, their first in five tries, which only gives the event more legitimacy. It’s a pretty sizable upset, as Team Europe had something like 68 Grand Slam titles on its side and Team World didn’t have a player who’s even been in a Grand Slam final.
But a couple kids who have been billed as the next generation surged to the fore to bring Team World back. First Felix Auger-Aliassime pretty well thwacked Novak Djokovic, who was feeling the effects of playing three matches in 24 hours. And then Frances Tiafoe overcame getting totally paddled by Stefanso Tsitsipas in the first set to take it in the 10-point match tiebreak that the event uses. And he did it with his usual Tiafoe flare:
After beating Roger Federer in his last match and then coming up with the pressure of trying to push a whole team through, one can’t help but be excited that this kind of buzz will push Frances through to personal glory come next year.