The 2019 Laver Cup opened to a thrilling opening match at the Palexpo in Geneva with Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov playing out a three-set nail-biter that had nothing to separate the two. Thiem won in the end to give Team Europe an early lead over Team World in the Laver Cup.
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The Austrian world number five won 6-4, 5-7, 13-11 to stall his losing streak that had seen him not win a match since his victory at the Canadian Open in the round of 16 against Marin Cilic.
Thiem broke Shapovalov early in the first set, in the third game and never faced a break-point off his own serve. In fact, the Austrian had four more chances to drill home the advantage but Shapovalov came back strongly to hold on to his own serve.
Such was Thiem’s dominance in that opening set that not one of his service games even saw a deuce. And he served out the set in the 10th game to love to take the lead.
It was role reversal time in the second set with the very first Thiem service game going into deuce, before the world number five was broken in his next. Thiem broke back immediately and levelled the set at 3-3 following which both players held their serves comfortably till 5-5.
Shapovalov held on to his service following that but Thiem, under pressure to stay in the set was broken to love, allowing the Canadian to come back into the match.
The final set, a Super Tiebreak, was a nail-biter with nothing to separate the two. Shapovalov’s fighting spirit was on display as he overcame a two-point lead on three separate occasions, and went from 5-7 down to 9-7 up in the set. With two match points on offer, however, he lost the next two points, with Thiem levelling it at 9-9.
From there on, both players had their chances in the form of match-points but it was Thiem who came out on top with a 13-11 scoreline.