World No.5 Dominic Thiem of Team Europe will play Canada’s Denis Shapovalov of Team World in opening Group Stage match for the 2019 Laver Cup on Friday, September 20. The match begins at 1 pm local time (12 noon BST). You can find the Dominic Thiem v Denis Shapovalov live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Dominic Thiem v Denis Shapovalov Head to Head
Thiem and Shapovalov have met on two occasions on tour most recently at the Canada Masters. The Austrian prevailed in both meetings.
Thiem Out To Avoid An Unwanted Record For Team Europe
Since the inception of the Laver Cup in 2017, Team Europe have won the opening singles match in the last two editions of the event, but with Dominic Thiem taking matters into his own hands this year, it is fair to say that record could be in serious jeopardy.
The Austrian is undoubtedly one of the finest tennis players of the current generation, but he can be notorious of serving up erratic performances. His most recent defeats came at the 2019 US Open when he was upset by the Italian Thomas Fabbiano in the first round, and the proceeded to lose quite handsomely to the relatively unknown World No.163 Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in the Davis Cup.
It will be fascinating to see how the two-time French Open finalist reacts from those two losses as he gears up for another team competition. The winning team scores one point for each match won, and Thiem will hope to avoid creating an unwanted record for Bjorn Borg’s side.
Shapovalov Looking To Break New Ground For Team World
As mentioned, Team World failed to win an opening day singles match in the first two Laver Cup installments, but Denis Shapovalov will hope to turn things around and get the red team off to a winning start on Friday.
Under the tutelage of John McEnroe (the team captain), Shapovalov will be a key member of Team World who also have John Isner and the mercurial Australian Nick Kyrgios in their ranks.
The young Canadian had a slightly better summer during the North American hard-court swing as compared to Thiem, having reached the semifinals at Winston-Salem and the third round of the US Open where he lost to eventual quarter-finalist Gael Monfils in a dramatic five-setter.
Shapovalov’s upturn in form will certainly put him in good stead to claim a rare win for Team World in singles.
Thiem v Shapovalov Predictions & Tips
Thiem starts as a strong favorite at 4/6, but that is purely due to his positive head-to-head record against Shapovalov. Judging by his recent outings, his form is slightly worrying. This is quite possibly the best chance for Team World to get their first ever opening day victory in singles, and I think Shapovalov won’t blink.
Tip: Shapovalov to win: 6/5 (888Sport)