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Tennis Update • With Full Team of Top 10 Players, Team Europe Goes for Fourth Straight Laver Cup Win Over Team World

Teams line up with tennis legend Rod Laver on the final day of the 2019 Laver Cup. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup

By Ricky Dimon

The fourth installment of the Laver Cup takes place this weekend in Boston, Mass. Team World hopes home-court advantage at the TD Garden will be the recipe it needs to defeat Team Europe for the first time following losses in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Following blowout losses in Prague and Chicago, the World was finally competitive in a 13-11 thriller two years ago in Geneva. The 2020 event was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Will Team World be able to take down the Europeans this time around? The rosters clearly don’t indicate that it’s a likely outcome. Every single player on the visiting side is in the Top 10; nobody on the home team is in the top 10. Perhaps a glimmer of hope for the World is that Team Europe doesn’t have Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, or Roger Federer.

Here are the 2021 Laver Cup rosters:

Team Europe
Daniil Medvedev
Stefanos Tsitsipas
Alexander Zverev
Andrey Rublev
Matteo Berrettini
Casper Ruud

Team World
Denis Shapovalov
Diego Schwartzman
Felix Auger-Aliassime
Reilly Opelka
John Isner
Nick Kyrgios

The unique and somewhat bizarre scoring system also provides the underdogs with more of an opportunity than they otherwise wouldn’t enjoy. Matches on the first day are one point, they are worth two points on the second day, and those on the final day count three. So no matter how bad Team World gets dominated on Friday–and really even Saturday, too–they will almost certainly have a realistic chance of victory heading into Sunday.

That being said, on paper it isn’t a fair fight. Medvedev just won the U.S. Open, Zverev reached the semifinals in New York after donning the gold medal at the Olympics, and Tsitsipas is ranked No. 3 in the world. The World’s only real hope is to completely take the rackets out of their opponents’ hands. But that is one thing their personnel is capable of doing. Isner, Opelka, and Kyrgios are three of the biggest servers on tour; Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime aren’t too shabby in that department, either.

Tennis legend Rod Laver takes a bow on the final day of Laver Cup 2019. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laver Cup

Whatever the case, even without the Big 3 this week’s festivities are sure to be wildly entertaining.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.