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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday September 25, 2021

 
Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev blitzed Denis Shapovalov in Boston, reeling off the last nine games.

Photo Source: Getty

Daniil Medvedev hit the ground running in his first appearance since winning his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open, shellacking Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, 6-4, 6-0, to give Team Europe a 9-1 lead over Team World at Laver Cup.

Tennis Express

Later in the evening, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev took down John Isner and Nick Kyrgios to stretch Team Europe’s advantage to 11-1 – Team World must win all four matches on Sunday to win the Laver Cup for the first time.

Medvedev was absolutely ruthless against Shapovalov once he sunk his teeth into the match. The World No.2, who had not faced Shapovalov since 2018, found himself in a tight tussle through eight games of the opening set, but he switched gears and was devastating across the final nine games to leave Shapovalov shaking his head and wondering what happened to him.


Medvedev says that Shapovalov started strong and it took him time to find his range on the passing shots.

“Altogether he started pretty well, was going to the net,” he said. “When you play your first match in few times, few days, passing shot is a tough shot I think to make, because you really have a small margin to pass a guy.

“He was surprising with me with some shots. I needed to adapt. Also the first break with new balls, so I could go a little bit faster and he didn't have time to prepare for his big shots, helped me to gain confidence and to feel like, okay, that's the moment where I can completely close the match, and that's what happened, so I'm really happy about it.”

It was a particularly breathtaking display, and one that shows that Medvedev is starting to look a lot more like the real deal – Shapovalov will have his work cut out for him if he intends to beat the Russian on a hard court at the Grand Slams in the near future.

Perhaps Medvedev is ready to make a run at No.1 and become tennis' new alpha dog? Time will tell.

It has been an energized atmosphere at Laver Cup through two rounds, but Team Europe’s domination has let some of the air out of the balloon. They are just a cut above the Team World, even with a super tiebreak deciding the third set.


John Isner has been the best player for Team World, but he fell short against Zverev on Saturday afternoon, falling in a super tiebreak after he rallied to take the middle set in a breaker.

Nick Kyrgios lost twice on Saturday, once in singles to Stefanos Tsitsipas and then in the doubles nightcap, and talked about how he is closer to the end of his career than the start after his match.

Felix Auger-Aliassime played well in defeat against Matteo Berrettini on Friday but couldn’t come through a super tiebreak.

It’s Team Europe’s world right now, and Team World is simply paying rent.

They became the first team to engineer a full day’s sweep at Laver Cup on Saturday and they could finish with the most lopsided scoreline ever.

It should be over early on Sunday, with Team World having no margin for error.

Here’s the order of play, which starts with doubles:

 

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