Laver CupRoger Federer

Laver Cup 2019 Day 2 Recap

The contest goes into the final day finely poised at 7 points to 5 in favour of Team Europe

The second day of the 2019 Laver Cup is complete and both teams walked away with two wins apiece which sets up an intriguing Sunday showdown at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva.

Heading into the day Team Europe had a 3-1 advantage, but Isner cut that to just 1 point after defeating Zverev in the opening match of the day.

Two wins in the singles from Roger and Rafa saw Europe open up a four-point gap to 7-3, but Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios ensured John McEnroe's team kept themselves within touching distance ahead of tomorrow's one doubles and three singles matches which each have 3 points at stake.

Let's take a look at how the day panned out.

Match 5: Isner def. Zverev 6-7(2) 6-4 1-0 (10-1)

Isner Laver Cup 2019

Zverev looked the better player for three-quarters of the match, but he slipped up at 4-4 in the second set with a loose service game and a big miss at 15-30 on the backhand. That gave Isner momentum, and after serving out the second set, he went on a tear up in the 10 point breaker, going up an early mini-break and then going for his shots which forced Zverev back and into his shell. 10-1, domination.

Match Stats

  Alexander Zverev John Isner
Aces 7 14
Double Faults 4 2
1st Serve 65% (40/62) 66% (47/71)
1st Serve Points Won 83% (33/40) 81% (38/47)
2nd Serve Points Won 59% (13/22) 58% (14/24)
Break Points Saved 50% (1/2) 100% (1/1)
Service Games Played 11 11
1st Serve Return Points Won 19% (9/47) 18% (7/40)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 42% (10/24) 41%( 9/22)
Break Points Converted 0% (0/1) 50% (1/2)
Return Games Played 11 11
Service Points Won 74% (46/62) 73% (52/71)
Return Points Won 27% (19/71) 26% (16/62)
Total Points Won 49% (65/133) 51% (68/133)

Highlights

Score: Team Europe  3 – 3 Team World

Match 6: Federer def. Kyrgios 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7)

Fed Kyrgios Laver Cup 2019

A confident start from Federer with a stylish backhand down the line winner for 1-0. Kyrgios came out serving bombs, but in game three Roger played some nicely worked points to put Nick in some awkward spots in the forecourt. A forehand wide gave Fed the break.

However, Roger couldn't consolidate, not the best service game, and he missed a forehand like Kyrgios on the breakpoint.

Serve dominant from there onwards but some flashy stuff from Kyrgios including a SABR and winning a 31 shot rally in game ten showed what he's capable of.

The set went to a tiebreak which seems the standard for these two. Kyrgios double-faulted to start the breaker then played a loose point to fall 0-3 behind. Fed then moved up 4-0 but couldn't keep the advantage, losing four points in a row eventually losing the tie break 7-5. Poor from the Swiss who didn't go for his shots when he had the chance. 

Federer had a breakpoint in the third game of set two after a slick return, but he played too passively. The set cagey from there onwards with a tense moment for Fed at 3-4, 15-30 after a missed backhand smash but he kept it together to hold.

The next pivotal moment came at 5-5 where Fed had 0-40, but Kyrgios saved all three with some quality serving. However, the Aussie went wide with a forehand and Fed broke when a cross-court forehand looped in, and Kyrgios again went wide with the forehand. Roger served it out to love to force another 10 point tiebreaker.

Into the breaker and Kyrgios got himself up 2-0 but Roger knuckled down and played an excellent tie break, coming up with sweetly struck inside in forehands to move into an 8-3 lead before eventually taking it 10-7.

I was hoping it was going to be like this, didn't disappoint me. I had a bit of a lull in the second set, the first set was tough to lose, crowd could feel it, I could feel it. Needed to get some energy going but  youcan't do that when you don't play good shots and Nick was playing very well. I was trying to stay focused, stay with Nick, do what Isner did, look like your're down, but if you can turn the momentum, the crowd gets back into it, and you guys did, I need some earplugs for next time. thanks for pushing me over the line. Federer on his win over Kyrgios

Match Stats

  Roger Federer Nick Kyrgios
Aces 9 14
Double Faults 2 5
1st Serve 67% (50/75) 57% (47/82)
1st Serve Points Won 82% (41/50) 83% (39/47)
2nd Serve Points Won 60% (15/25) 49% (17/35)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/1) 71% (5/7)
Service Games Played 12 12
1st Serve Return Points Won 17% (8/47) 18% (9/50)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 51% (18/35) 40% (10/25)
Break Points Converted 29% (2/7) 100% (1/1)
Return Games Played 12 12
Service Points Won 75% (56/75) 68% (56/82)
Return Points Won 32% (26/82) 25% (19/75)
Total Points Won 52% (82/157) 48% (75/157)

Highlights

Press Conference

Score: Team Europe 5  –  3 Team World

Match 7: Nadal def. Raonic 6-3, 7-6 (1)

Nadal Raonic Laver Cup 2019

Raonic had chances to break in Nadal's first three service games but didn't convert any of his eight chances. Nadal then had two chances of his own to break but failed to get a return in play despite both of them being second serves. However, on the third chance, Rafa came up with a backhand pass on the run to take a 4-3 lead. That knocked Raonic's confidence, and he dropped the next two games as Nadal took the first set 6-3.

In set two Rafa slipped down an early break but after a quick pep talk from Roger at the changeover he broke straight back, and both guys were reasonably comfortable on serve after that. Nadal did make deuce at 6-5, but Raonic held to force a tiebreaker. With the Candian's serve, you'd give him a good shot at forcing a decider, but Nadal ran away with tie break 7-1, coming up with some trademark shots on the run from deep behind the baseline.

Match Stats

  Rafael Nadal Milos Raonic
Aces 2 13
Double Faults 1 3
1st Serve 63% (48/76) 56% (40/71)
1st Serve Points Won 65% (31/48) 80% (32/40)
2nd Serve Points Won 68% (19/28) 35% (11/31)
Break Points Saved 89% (8/9) 50% (3/6)
Service Games Played 10 11
1st Serve Return Points Won 20% (8/40) 35% (17/48)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 65% (20/31) 32% (9/28)
Break Points Converted 50% (3/6) 11% (1/9)
Return Games Played 11 10
Service Points Won 66% (50/76) 61% (43/71)
Return Points Won 39% (28/71) 34% (26/76)
Total Points Won 53% (78/147) 47% (69/147)

Highlights

Score: Team Europe 7 –  3 Team World

Match 8: Sock / Kyrgios def. Nadal / Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6)

Sock Kyrgios

Kyrgios and Sock have played together before and that showed in this one as they looked more comfortable pairing than Rafa and Stefanos.

It took a while for the Team Europe pair to really gel, and although they played well in the second set, overall their return game let them down and they never looked to be on the same wavelength. The highlight was probably the entire team in fits of laughter during a changeover when Nadal said he had no idea what signals Tsitipas was giving him 😆

Match Stats

  Nadal / Tsitsipas Sock / Kyrgios
Aces 5 6
Double Faults 0 1
1st Serve 76% (52/68) 73% (40/55)
1st Serve Points Won 63% (33/52) 75% (30/40)
2nd Serve Points Won 63% (10/16) 47% (7/15)
Break Points Saved 60% (3/5) 33% (1/3)
Service Games Played 10 9
1st Serve Return Points Won 25% (10/40) 37% (19/52)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 53% (8/15) 38% (6/16)
Break Points Converted 67% (2/3) 40% (2/5)
Return Games Played 9 10
Service Points Won 63% (43/68) 67% (37/55)
Return Points Won 33% (18/55) 37% (25/68)
Total Points Won 50% (61/123) 50% (62/123)

Highlights

Coming soon.

Score: Team Europe 7  –  5 Team World

Thoughts on Day 2

Day 2 Laver Cup 2019

Another action-packed day in Geneva with all four matches being enjoyable. Zverev played well, but I thought the match highlighted how quick indoor tennis can turn around, especially when the third set is a 10 point breaker.  If the opponent gets on a roll, they are difficult to stop, and with Isner's serve + forehand booming, it's even trickier to recover.

The second match was an excellent win for Federer and good for his confidence for the rest of the year. I thought he played an ok first set but was tentative in the tie break. He then got a bit flat in the second, but picked it up and played a good 10 point tiebreak and looked to be thinking clearly. Not at his best for sure which is to be expected given the finely poised 3-3 score and the expectant Geneva crowd but he played some smart tennis under pressure to put the odds in his favour. The Stat man also helped him:

As for the evening session, I enjoyed the Nadal match too as I thought Rafa showed how good a match player he is. Not that we needed reminding 🙂 . He had a very rusty start even telling Roger after the first set “it was the most undeserving set ever“, but once he got moving he was able to work the points how he wanted and is just a bit too good for Raonic from the baseline. 

The doubles was a good way to finish and Sock and Kyrgios put on a solid showing and were clearly the more in-sync pair out there. They knew how they needed to play whereas Nadal and Tsistipas were a little out of kilter, still close with just 1 point difference in the match but Team World raised their game in the tiebreak to take it.

Laver Cup 2019 Day 3 Schedule

  Team Europe Team World
Afternoon Session 12 pm    
Match 9 Roger Federer / Stefanos Tsitsipas John Isner / Jack Sock
Match 10 Dominic Thiem Nick Kyrgios
Match 11 Roger Federer John Isner
Match 12 Alexander Zverev Milos Raonic

Did you guys enjoy day 2 of the Laver Cup? Happy with Federer's performance? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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26 Comments

  1. Another great day at the Arena! Fed/Nick the absolute highlight. So intense and tremendous atmosphere and and noise throughout! Thrilling stuff.
    Yes, that poor BH from Sascha at 15-30 was the turning point! He totally lost his way from then on but John was awesome in the TB.
    I thought Stef played well on the dubs and Rafa tired in the TB playing 3 crucial errors but Nick and Jack totally up to it, keeping things fun for day 3.

    It’s been a blast so far, hv met up with lots of tennis friends mds. Win win and that Fed match was just great to see live

    1. It was crazy loud even on TV, that volley on the stretch sent everyone crazy.

      I thought Tsitsipas played ok in doubles but he was playing a bit like the only man on the court he had no idea where Rafa was half the time.

  2. Agree about coming back & keeping focused after the missed set 1 was great for Roger’s mindset foe the rest of the year. Thought Tsitsipas acquitted himself well given his lack of dubs experience & the team’s total lack of experience at playing together. Liked seeing Borg come out immediately when Fed won to give him the handshake/hug. This whole thing is sure high energy…

    1. I don’t get they the commentators were saying Tsitsipas has no experience playing doubles.. He has played doubles at over 5 events this season and made the finals in Miami at doubles. Plenty of experience. I thought he was ok and has good volleys but wasn’t gelling with Nadal, never knew where he was on the court and was only ever looking ahead. Watch Fed play doubles, he is tracking the ball and his partner all the time.

  3. What a day, Roger and Rafa delivered crucial points in their respective match. I am glad that Roger manage to turn around dismal first set to snatch a W. Honestly should have won in straight sets but due to lack of confidence and nerves he let the first set slip through his fingers. Credit to NK for playing well during the big points. Big disappointment with Sasha performance, his lack of confidence is telling throughout whole season. No amount of good coaches likes of Lendl can help if he lack discipline and off court distractions.

    Overall good day 2 with minor blip from Sasha, hope Fedal doubles team can get a W to widen gap against Team World.

    1. I thought Sascha played ok, not much you can do if Isner goes on a run of points as no time at all to turn it around. 1 or 2 misses and it’s done. I thought Thiem might have got the nod today for singles though and not Zverev.

    1. Just saw and was half way updating the post when you commented. Bit of a loss as I was looking forward to doubles.

      I think it’s good that Thiem gets another singles though.

  4. No Nadal today so will be interesting to see how Fed and Tsi
    pare up. Would love to have seen Fed and Fabio. Tennis
    has been good, the crowd having a blast what’s not to like
    maybe the post match transport. Love reading all the posts
    from the fans who are in Geneva and of course you too
    Jonathan…enjoy.

    1. Yeah I’ve enjoyed it a lot so far. The Laver Cup doesn’t seem that popular on the blog though, a normal match seems to get far more interest. Unless everyone is there watching!?

  5. There is too much tennis on TV today 🙂 Laver Cup thriller + Medvedev’s 5th final + Tsonga at the same time… Ouch !

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